Sonia Gandhi to quit as Congress president? Crucial CWC meet today amid questions over leadership

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Updated: Aug 24, 2020 10:20 AM

Sonia was made the Congress' interim president in August 2019 after her son and then party chief Rahul Gandhi's resignation following a debacle in the general elections.

Sonia Gandhi returned to the Congress’ president post in August 2019.

The Congress Working Committee, the highest-decision making of the party, is slated to meet on Monday amidst reports that Sonia Gandhi is not ready to continue as interim president. Sonia was made the Congress’ interim president in August 2019 after her son and then party chief Rahul Gandhi’s resignation following a debacle in the general elections.

Sonia’s decision comes in the wake of a dissent letter from a group of 23 senior Congress leaders earlier this month. According to reports, Sonia Gandhi will either resign immediately or give the party a deadline to find her successor.

Rahul Gandhi, who headed the Congress from December 2017 to July 2019, is believed to be firm on not returning to the post despite several requests from senior leaders. His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also learnt to have expressed her unwillingness to take up the top job.

The meeting is slated to begin at 11 am. Sonia is likely to make the announcement at the beginning of the meeting. Sources told ANI that the CWC is unlikely to accept her resignation.

The 73-year-old is believed to be upset over the letter written by senior party leaders wherein they raised questions over the party’s present condition and called for a full time active leadership.

The dissidents who wrote the letter on August 7 include many Gandhi family loyalists, former Union ministers and prominent MPs. The leaders who signed the letter include Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prithviraj Chavan, Vivek Tankha and Anand Sharma. They reportedly said in the letter that Gandhis will always be an integral part of a “collective leadership”. Gandhis have led the Congress for much of its 134-year history.

This turn of events have left the Congress divided into two camps. Leaders like Amarinder Singh, Bhupesh Baghel and Siddaramaiah have come out in support of the Gandhis and demanded that Rahul should return to the top post. Various leaders like Ashok Gehlot, Kamal Nath, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and DK Shivakumar have requested Sonia to continue as the Congress president.

“Sonia Gandhi should continue as long as she wants; Rahul Gandhi should take over after her as he is fully competent,” Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Sunday evening.

“She (Sonia) has always taken challenges head on. But if she has made up her mind -I believe Rahul Gandhi should come ahead and be the Congress President as the country faces the biggest challenge to save our Constitution -Democracy,” Ashok Gehlot tweeted.

This is the first time since 1999 when Sonia Gandhi is witnessing resentment within the party. At that time, Sharad Pawar, PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar had raised questions on Sonia’s origin and quit the party.

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