Confusion in Congress over next party chief

New Delhi, Feb 24, 2020-

‘The Congress is facing a tough time restraining its leaders from speaking out of turn on the issue of organisational elections in the party as many of them have pitched for a party president from outside the Gandhi family even as Anil Shastri suggested that Priyanka Gandhi take over as party chief.

A senior Congress leader on Monday said on condition of anonymity that “Ours is a democratic party and everyone has his own view, we cannot stop anybody.”

A former Union minister from Uttar Pradesh slammed those asking for elections, saying “those who are demanding elections don’t have support of PCC members who are primary voters in the organisational elections.”

Sonia Gandhi after being appointed as interim party President in August by the Congress Working Committee holds temporary charge of the party. Some leaders said that a non-Gandhi will not be accepted as party chief.

“There’s no question of a non-Gandhi taking over as Congress president at this stage. The party will cease to exist. Priyanka Gandhi should be elected to lead the party,” said Shastri amid political grapevine that her brother Rahul Gandhi could again become Congress chief.

The party sources say that Rahul Gandhi is likely to return as President in April, but many leaders are restless as Shashi Tharoor tweeted “I believe a revived @INCIndia is indispensable to provide a national alternative to the divisive policies of the BJP. This is why the current perception of drift must be ended.”

People like Tharoor and Sandeep Dikshit have been raising voices for a regular appointment after the Delhi poll debacle where party was again decimated. However, the Congress has maintained there is no leadership crisis in the party.

“I don’t think there is a ‘leadership crisis’. Sonia Gandhi is the party’s interim President and the decisions are being taken in the party,” senior party leader Anand Sharma said. He asserted that the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, appointed Sonia Gandhi as interim chief in August last year and “it will take a call when the party feels like”.

Meanwhile, a party leader said that the Delhi Assembly election – where the party again failed to win a single seat – should not be seen as a parameter for the Congress as the party has won many state elections after the Lok Sabha polls.  (Agency)

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