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Choice of Sonia Gandhi— a ‘balancing act’ by CWC

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 11, 2019 Published on August 11, 2019

Sonia Gandhi   -  PTI

She is acceptable to both the youth and the veterans till a successor to Rahul is found

The decision of the Congress Working Committee to make Sonia Gandhi its interim president is an act to balance the two streams in the party — the “young” group led by outgoing president Rahul Gandhi and the veterans’ camp, led by treasurer Ahmed Patel.

As names such as Mukul Wasnik, Mallikarjun Kharge and Sushil Kumar Shinde were not acceptable to the “young” team, the leadership felt the decision should be left to the AICC session. To convene and chair the session, the party had to find an interim president, with Rahul Gandhi not willing to wait until the session elected a new president.

Names of senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad and Motilal Vora were also considered, but the two sides could not agree on anybody. Finally, the party gave the responsibility to Sonia Gandhi who had steered the party for about two decades.

Reliable face

As chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said after the press conference, Sonia Gandhi’s leadership is time-tested and she is a reliable face for the party at a time of deep crisis.

The family loyalists also sensed that if Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi are not ready to head the party, it will not be easy to maintain unity.

The party has seen some leaders joining the BJP after the Lok Sabha elections. On issues such as Article 370, many top leaders have publicly expressed their differences.

While veterans in the party hope that with Sonia Gandhi at the helm there will be access to the leadership and to the process of decision-making, the youth brigade believes that she can ensure a democratic process in finding a permanent successor to Rahul Gandhi.

The resolution adopted at the CWC meeting said that the panel considered the views of PCC Presidents, CLP Leaders, AICC Secretaries and MPs. “The CWC unanimously resolved that Rahul Gandhi should continue as Congress President, as desired by all who were consulted today, and requested him to accept this decision. However, Rahul Gandhi declined to withdraw his resignation. Consequently the CWC unanimously resolved to request Sonia Gandhi to take over as interim president pending the election of a regular president by the AICC,” the resolution said.

Published on August 11, 2019
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