Shashi Tharoor backs Sandeep Dikshit’s demand for leadership elections in Congress

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Published: February 20, 2020 4:04 PM

Shashi Tharoor urged the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body in the party, to hold leadership elections. He said it will instill confidence and boost the morale of the cadre.

File photo of senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. (File Photo)

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has lent his weight behind the views of party colleague Sandeep Dikshit, highlighting a vacuum at the top level in the party. Tharoor urged the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body in the party, to hold leadership elections. He said it will instill confidence and boost the morale of the cadre.

“What Sandeep Dikshit said openly is what dozens of party leaders from across the country are saying privately, including many with responsible positions in the Party. I renew my appeal to CWC to hold leadership elections to energise workers and inspire voters,” he tweeted.

“Some have asked who should vote & for what. I was referring to my earlier call eight months ago for elections among the 10,000 party workers who constitute the “AICC plus PCC delegates” list. These should be for the elected seats in the CWC as well as for the Party Presidency,” he said in another tweet.

Tharoor’s comments came after Sandeep blasted the party’s top leadership for failing to find a new president to replace Rahul Gandhi. Speaking to The Indian Express, Sandeep blamed the senior leaders for the party’s poor show in the Delhi elections. He said that the Congress party has many capable leaders to lead the party, but the senior leaders are unwilling to make a decision.

Without naming any leader, he said, “Sometimes you want inaction because you didn’t want a certain action to happen.”

“I am actually feeling rather dismayed by our senior leaders. They must come up. Most of them, those who are in Rajya Sabha, those who have been former Chief Ministers, even some of our current CMs who are very senior, I think it is time for them to come up and go the extra mile for their party,” Sandeep, the son of later Congress leader and Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, said.

“I think this is a time for them (senior leaders) to intellectually contribute…they can go into the process of leadership selection, either at the centre or in states or elsewhere,” he added.

After a poor show in the Lok Sabha elections last year, then Congress president Rahul Gandhi resigned from the post. The Congress leaders urged him to take back his resignation, but Rahul was adamant about his decision. As a result, the CWC urged Sonia Gandhi to take over. She is currently the interim president of the party.

On Rahul Gandhi, Sandeep said if he doesn’t want to be the president of party, “so let us respect his position and carry on”.

“If the Congress party at some point feels that Rahul Gandhi has to come back or wants to come back, opportunities will always be there. It has happened across other states also,” he suggested.

Sandeep is not the only leader who is upset with the party leadership. Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari had earlier said that the party needs to think about reorienting its economic philosophy which continues to be “fairly socialistic” and bring clarity on the question of secularism and its brand of nationalism.

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