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After facing defeat in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday appointed Rajani Patil, Jairam Ramesh, Ajay Maken, Jitendra Singh and Avinash Pandey, to assess the post-poll situation and suggest organisational changes in five states.

Ranjani Patil is the Goa chief, Jairam Ramesh for Manipur, Ajay Maken for Punjab, Jitendra Singh for Uttar Pradesh and Avinash Pandey has been appointed for Uttarakhand. 

All the 5 PCC chiefs were earlier asked to resign by Sonia Gandhi.

Meanwhile, some leaders of the Congress's 'Group of 23' met at the residence of former Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad over dinner today to work out the grouping's future strategy and discuss the party's poll debacle in the just-concluded assembly polls.

Reports said the grouping had earlier planned a dinner at Kapil Sibal's residence, but it was changed at the last minute.

Among the leaders who attended the meeting included Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor and Sandeep Dikshit.

The ambit of the G-23 grouping increased this time as some more leaders - Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, former Gujarat chief minister Shankar Singh Vaghela, former union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and former Haryana speaker Kuldeep Sharma joined them.

The grouping had given an open invite to other Congressmen to join them at the dinner meeting.

The sources said the meeting was convened to apprise all the members of the G-23 about the decisions taken at the crucial Congress Working Committee meeting on Sunday.

Two prominent G-23 members Azad and Sharma would also apprise the other members of the developments at the CWC and what they spoke on strengthening the party in the wake of the party's drubbing in the assembly polls in five states, they said.

The Congress performance in these states was poor as it failed to win back any of the four BJP-ruled states including Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur, while it lost Punjab to the AAP.

The G-23 grouping has been critical of the party leadership and has been demanding organisational overhaul, after they wrote a joint letter to Sonia Gandhi in 2020.

The sources said invitations were also extended to the Congressmen who don't constitute the bloc but feel changes are required, including at the leadership level, to revive its electoral fortunes. The decision to convene a meeting of the G-23 came came a day after Sonia Gandhi sought the resignation of Congress presidents of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa following the party's dismal performance there.

Sibal, in his latest salvo targeting the leadership had said the Gandhis should step aside and give some other leader a chance to helm the party, provoking a backlash from Gandhi family loyalists who accused him of speaking the language of the BJP and the RSS.

The G-23 has, however, got weakened over time with senior leader M Veerappa Moily distancing himself from the group, Jitin Prasada joining the BJP, and Mukul Wasnik not attending its meetings in recent times.

With agency inputs

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