Congress reposes faith in Sonia Gandhi

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on August 24, 2020

Sonia Gandhi

CWC says an AICC session soon to find new president

The Congress on Monday thwarted a push for a discussion on the leadership question by insisting on Sonia Gandhi’s continuation as the Interim President and indicating that the majority in the party wanted Rahul Gandhi back as  President.

After a letter complaining about the drift in the party and the leadership vacuum, the Gandhis gathered forces and got the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to pass a resolution endorsing Sonia Gandhi as the Interim President.

After a seven-hour-long stormy meeting, the CWC unanimously requested Sonia Gandhi to continue “to lead” the party until “such time as circumstances will permit” an AICC session to be convened.

Apparently irked over the collective disgruntlement and questions posed by a section of leaders about the style of functioning of the high command, the CWC also made it clear that no one will, or can, be permitted to undermine or weaken the party and its leadership at this juncture. “The responsibility of every Congress worker and leader today is to fight the pernicious assault on India’s democracy, pluralism and diversity by the Modi government,” a resolution adopted at the meeting said.

The resolution said that inner-party issues cannot be deliberated through the media or in public fora. “The CWC urges and advises all concerned to raise such issues only in party fora in the interest of propriety and discipline,” it said. Hinting at disciplinary action against leaders who tried to question the high command, the CWC also authorised the Congress President “to affect necessary organisational changes that she may deem appropriate to take on the challenges listed above.”

Briefing newspersons on the decisions taken at the meeting, the party’s general secretary in-charge of organisation, KC Venugopal, and media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said that an AICC session will take place as early as possible. Venugopal said Sonia Gandhi wrote him a letter asking him to begin deliberations on convening the AICC session. He added that the CWC unanimously resolved to work in that direction.

Surjewala said leaders and State units had unanimously requested Rahul Gandhi to come back to the party leadership.

The resolution said it is under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi “that crores of Congress workers and supporters have reached out to fill the large, callous gaps in governance left by this Government as a result of which millions belonging to the poor and middle classes have been unjustly deprived of their rights and their livelihoods.”

The meeting discussed Sonia Gandhi’s letter to Venugopal and “a letter written earlier by certain Congress leaders to the Congress President”.

Twitter war

Earlier, the crisis in the Congress came out in open after a sharp tweet by senior leader and MP Kapil Sibal against  Rahul Gandhi. The tweet created a storm in social media circles and Sibal withdrew it later. Responding to media reports that Rahul Gandhi termed the letter by 23 senior leaders as an example of collusion with the BJP, Sibal listed out the legal battles he had led against the BJP and the Union Government in a tweet. “Rahul Gandhi says ‘we are colluding with BJP’. Succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress Party. Defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP Govt. Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue. Yet ‘we are colluding with the BJP’!” Sibal said.

Soon after this, Surjewala said in a tweet that Rahul Gandhi hasn’t said a word of this nature nor alluded to it. “Pl don’t be misled by false media discourse or misinformation being spread. But yes, we all need to work together in fighting the draconian Modi rule rather then fighting & hurting each other & the Congress,” he tweeted.

Responding to this, Sibal again went to Twitter to say that he has withdrawn the earlier tweet. “Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet,” Sibal said.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, also a signatory to the letter, said Rahul Gandhi did not mention about BJP hand behind the letter. He said some Congress persons had said that the signatories had done it at the behest of BJP. “…in that context, I said, ‘It is most unfortunate that some colleagues (outside CWC) have accused us of collusion with BJP, and if those people can prove this allegation, I will resign’,” Azad tweeted.

Published on August 24, 2020

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