Congress faced split if a non-Gandhi took over

Erika Holt
August 13, 2019

"Hence, the party leaders and cadres are confident that she would help the party come out of the crisis", he said.

Leader of the party in lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary said, "We will meet again at 8.30 pm, and it (name of new party chief) is expected to be finalized by 9 pm today itself".

It seems the Congress is facing a scarcity of leaders with quality, strength and talent, Chauhan said adding that none can save the party if it fails to choose a leader through a democratic process. However, he was doubtful of how the public would perceive the Congress decision.

"The CWC applauds his courage, commitment and conviction in stepping down as Congress President which was a deeply personal decision".

Faced with a continuous void at the top and key assembly polls in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand soon approaching, the party had no option but to choose their new leader. "Otherwise the fight would have been within the party", he said.

Congress leaders however feel she has all it takes to hit back, silence and dignity being her most lethal weapons. "If the invite was from someone else, they will send only representatives", the AICC leader said. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul have consciously chosen to disassociate themselves from the process of choosing the successor.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said several leaders who could not make it to New Delhi have been consulted over phone. We can also say that Congress has travelled a full circle, it is back to square one from Sonia Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi, it is a musical chair which is only playing music to one particular family.

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V T Balram, MLA, who is the face of the young brigade in the Congress in Kerala, was cautious in his reaction.

At 11 am, the Congress' top brass, including ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh, party general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and P Chidambaram, went into a huddle at the All India Congress Committee headquarters here.

This was by and large the opinion of Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor too.

The announcement was made Saturday night after Congress Working Committee (CWC) accepted Rahul Gandhi's resignation at its second meeting of the day. "Let elections allow party workers to decide who should lead them", he said. The appointment of Sonia Gandhi as the party's interim president is bound to induce a feeling of déjà vu among people who have been following its fortunes closely.

Analysts expect a clamor among party loyalists to appoint her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as her brother's successor.

Having earned the distinction of being the longest serving Congress president, Sonia Gandhi is once again at the helm to steer her party out of troubled waters.

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