Published On: Tue, Aug 4th, 2020

One year on, Sonia Gandhi likely to continue as Cong interim chief

New Delhi: With Sonia Gandhi slated to complete one year as Congress interim President soon amid an ongoing battle for one-upmanship between leaders close to Rahul Gandhi and the Congress veterans, she is likely to continue in the top post in the foreseeable future, party sources said on Tuesday.

The Congress leadership seems to be “unhappy” over the recent events

The sources maintained that “no discussion is going on” at present within the Congress on the President’s post, neither initiated by the party nor any individual.

“There is no discussion; and there is no rule that we have to appoint a new President,” the sources remarked.

Sonia Gandhi assumed charge of the topmost post again on August 10 last year in the wake of the resignation by her son Rahul Gandhi as Congress President after the 2019 Lok Sabha debacle. Though the party tried to persuade Rahul not to resign, but he did not budge, after which the Congress Working Committee appointed her as the interim chief.

Sonia Gandhi has become the longest serving Congress President and has been credited with the party’s victories in two successive general elections in 2009 and 2004.

A party leader, who is privy to all developments in the Congress, pointed out that Sonia Gandhi had just returned from hospital and the party was rallying behind her to fight the BJP onslaught. “She is the rallying point for all sections of the party,” the leader remarked.

Sonia Gandhi was admitted to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital last week for routine tests and investigations and was discharged on Sunday afternoon.

Notwithstanding the Congress position about status quo on the party chief’s post, there have been demands within the party to appoint a new party President. Leaders close to Rahul Gandhi have on at least three occasions demanded that he should be brought back as Congress President.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had demanded it during a CWC meeting. The demand was echoed during the meetings of Congress’ Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs in July as well.

A lot of hectic activity is on within the party to this end. Many leaders have met to discuss the proposal to write a letter to the CWC to appoint a full-time President as the opposition party is facing a crisis after rebellions by Congress leaders and MLAs in Rajasthan and earlier in Madhya Pradesh in the last six months.

The Congress leadership seems to be “unhappy” over the recent events.

The source said that when they should be taking on the BJP, party leaders are busy attacking each other on the social media even after a warning from the party.

Chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had said the party needed to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party collectively and the leaders should refrain from airing their views on the social media.

“It’s useless to talk of the past. Two elections have taken place. There is no need for a post-mortem,” said a Congress leader who wanted that the party leaders should sit together and decide their next course of action.

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