Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was among the 23 leaders who sent a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi calling for sweeping changes in the party, on Thursday iterated that the entire Congress Working Committee should be elected.

“Anyone who has a genuine interest in the internal working dynamics of Congress would welcome our proposal to have every state and district president as being elected,” Azad, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said.

“The intention is to make Congress active and strong. But those who simply got ‘appointment cards’ continue to oppose our proposal. What’s the harm in having elected CWC members who will have stable tenures in the party,” he said. Defending the demand for organisational elections in the letter, he said an appointed president right now “may not even have one per cent support”.

“An election has the benefit that when you fight elections, at least your party is 51 per cent behind you. Right now, the person who becomes president might not even have one per cent support. If CWC members are elected then they cannot be removed. So what is the problem,” Ghulam Nabi Azad is reported to have said.

“Those office-bearers or state unit presidents or block district presidents who attack our proposal know that they will be nowhere when elections happen. Whoever is genuinely invested in the Congress will welcome the letter,” the Rajya Sabha member said.

The letter written to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi by 23 Congress leaders including MPs and former ministers called for sweeping reforms, fair internal elections, collective decision-making and a “full-time, visible leadership”.

Monday’s stormy CWC meeting, where the letter’s authors came under severe attack, reaffirmed Sonia Gandhi as interim party chief at the meeting, leaving the question of choosing her successor for later.

Sibal’s appeal: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday said the party needs to target the ruling BJP with “surgical strikes” rather than targeting its own, after a resolution was passed by a district unit in Uttar Pradesh for disciplinary action against Jitin Prasada, a leader from the state, for being part of the ‘group of 23’ who had sought urgent organisational reforms.

An audio clip also went viral on social media platforms with claims of it purportedly containing the voice of the District Congress Committee head of Lakhimpur Kheri suggesting that the resolution was passed following directives of AICC (All India Congress Committee) Secretary Dheeraj Gurjar. However, Gurjar rejected the charge in a statement, saying he got to know about the resolution only after it was passed.

~With inputs from other agencies~