Just one day before passing the baton of Congress to her son, outgoing party president Sonia Gandhi sparked a buzz in the political circle saying, she was retiring. Speaking to reporters in Parliament on Friday, she said, “My role is to retire.” The Congress soon came out with a clarification saying that Sonia Gandhi was retiring as party president but not from public life. Some senior leaders of the party said that the outgoing president would be in a mentor role for Congress. Speaking further former Union minister Veerappa Moily said that Sonia is also the mother of the entire party cadre and should continue to play that role.
Rahul Gandhi is all set to take over as party president at a time when the party finds itself in a severe political crisis. The transition in the party resembles the time when Sonia Gandhi took over as party president and Congress saw its worst performance since Independence in the 1999 polls, winning 114 seats. However, the party bounced back in 2004 and retained power in 2009, also winning a string of Assembly polls from 2004 to 2014. Sonia Gandhi’s one line remark was in response to a question as to what role she would take up after Rahul Gandhi takes over the party in between speculation that she would play the role a “patron”.
After the buzz triggered by the remark, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted: “Would sincerely request friends in the media to not rely upon innuendos. Sonia Gandhi has retired as President of Indian National Congress and not from politics. Her blessings, wisdom and innate commitment to Congress ideology shall always be our guiding light.”
Moily also said that Rahul Gandhi as president would have his own working style and processes and that his performance in Gujarat, irrespective of results Monday’s results, was “wonderful”.
Rahul Gandhi has raised himself to a level where the Congress and the nation can look forward to his leadership. He has created the environment. even as, he was reluctant to take over this kind of leadership, but having taken it up, he should go the full way, Moily added further.