After Turns and U-turns, Congress decides to continue with Sonia Gandhi

After a day long drama on Monday, the Congress party decided to continue with Sonia Gandhi as the interim chief for the time bring. Sonia Gandhi reportedly said in her closing remarks that she held “no ill-will” towards anyone in the party, a remark intended at the dissent-letter writers. “I am hurt but they are my colleagues, bygones are bygones, let us work together,” she said, ending the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on a note of conciliation.

A seven hour long meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was held on Monday to discuss about the leadership of the party. The grand old party is currently suffering from a leadership crisis after Rahul Gandhi quit from the post of the President last year after failing to deliver in general elections. Since then the 73 year old matriarch is leading the party as its interim chief. But if sources are to be believed, a vaccum of strong leadership can be strongly felt within Congress.

Recently, 23 top leaders of the party wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi, expressing their desire to have a strong leader at the helm of affairs and a fair internal elections. It was this letter which prompted the CWC to call for the meeting and discuss the issue.

The day began with senior leader and one of signatories of the letter, Kapil Sibal hitting out at Rahul Gandhi for reportedly accusing the dissenters of “colluding with the BJP.”

Later senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad Nabi Azad came out to categorically refute the reports of Rahul accusing the dissenters of colluding with BJP. After which, Sibal withdrew his tweet. Though several reports suggested that Rahul indeed exhibited anger at the dissenters and blamed them for making a fiasco in the media instead of discussing their concerns in CWC. He also criticised them for attacking the party at a time of crisis.

At the end of the seven hours long meeting, Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Monday again unanimously requested her “to continue to lead the Indian National Congress” until such time as circumstances will permit an AICC session to be convened.

The crucial meeting of CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body, adopted a resolution which authorised Sonia Gandhi to affect necessary organisational changes that she may deem appropriate to take on the challenges faced by the party.

Apart from hailing the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the CWC also lauded the role of party leader Rahul Gandhi, saying he has resolutely led the fight against the BJP-led government from the front.

With the meeting held in the backdrop of a collective letter written by over 20 senior leaders and the strong opposition to the move from within the party including by its chief ministers, the resolution said, “CWC makes it clear that no one will be or can be permitted to undermine or weaken the party and its leadership at this juncture”.

The resolution also took note of the letter which caused some inner party friction. “The Congress Working Committee takes note of the letter of Congress President Sonia Gandhi addressed to General Secretary (Organisation) as also a letter written earlier by certain Congress leaders to the Congress President,” it said.

Addressing the media after the meeting, KC Venugopal said that dissenting members also endorsed the resolution.

Sonia Gandhi was appointed as an interim President on August 10, 2019 by the CWC after Rahul Gandhi stepped down as party chief, taking the responsibility for the party’s disastrous defeat in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Sonia Gandhi had earlier helmed the party as its chief for nearly nineteen years.