New Delhi, Dec 9, 2020-
Sonia Gandhi, who turned 74 on Wednesday, has decided not to celebrate her birthday amid the farmers distress and the Covid-19 pandemic.
She has asked her party workers to be involved in relief work instead.
The party leaders are pouring in with birthday wishes. “Long life to her”, Salman Khurshid wrote on social media; “Best wishes to Hon’ble Congress President and UPA Chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi. May she be blessed with good health,” Khurshid said.
Sonia Gandhi, who was born in 1946 in the Italian town of Lusiana Conco, is the longest serving President of the grand old party.
Over the years she has seen both highs and lows but at this point, things are not well within the party as an internal rebellion has been raging for sometime and the party has not been able to stop BJP’s march in all forms of elections.
People raising doubt over the Gandhi family at the helm of the party has gained momentum like never before. However, she and her children are still the crowd-pullers.
The G23, a group of 23 members, who wrote the infamous letter about reforms in the party is not relenting and has again raised their concern after the Bihar poll defeat.
Sonia Gandhi also lost her ace trouble shooter Ahmed Patel due to Covid just days back, and her detractors in the party have given her some time to grief it seems.
As the Congress is bracing for polls in crucial states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu the party is also battling internal rifts within its fold.
The old guard is up against her son Rahul Gandhi’s style of working and is not pleased with his decisions.
In the raging farmers protest that has taken the national capital in a chokehold for days, the Congress is led by the Chief Minister of Punjab, who is spearheading this movement. Rahul Gandhi despite taking early lead during his tractor yatra is missing in the final lap.
The party is going for presidential polls soon and insiders say if Rahul Gandhi throws in his hat he might get the post unchallenged but if he fields a candidate then the post may not go uncontested.
While Sonia Gandhi who took over party leadership in 1998 and got the UPA government elected in 2004 was the most powerful person in the country till 2014, the party since has lost two consecutive general elections and have been reduced to a double digit.
Party members have openly come out against the nomination culture and demanded election from block to the Congress Working Committee level to galvanise the party.
Suspended party spokesperson Sanjay Jha wrote an article ahead of her birthday and tweeted “It is a natural process of evolution, change.
“The once infallible Gandhi brand has become weak. It has been slow to adapt. They are no longer Congress’s magic wand. They have become its kryptonite. It is time for change.” (Agency)