Sonia Gandhi “unifying factor” in Congress: M Venkaiah Naidu

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New Delhi | May 22, 2016 11:51 PM

Amid continued speculation about Rahul Gandhi's elevation as Congress president, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said Sonia Gandhi was the "unifying factor" without whom the party would have "disintegrated".

Amid continued speculation about Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as Congress president, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said Sonia Gandhi was the “unifying factor” without whom the party would have “disintegrated”.

“Leader(ship) is their internal affair. I can only say this much. It is because of Soniaji that Congress is united. Otherwise it would have got disintegrated. This is my view although I do not approve of dynasty,” Naidu said.

“Dynasty is nasty in democracy but it is tasty to some people particularly Congress and its supporters. But the reality has to be accepted. Sonia is the unifying factor for Congress party,” the Parliamentary affairs minister told PTI in an interview.

Referring to the outcome of assembly polls in four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry, Naidu, however, said “But as a leader her leadership has not succeeded. You have seen that.”

About Sonia Gandhi’s call for introspection following the defeat, he said, “That’s not our concern, it is left to them, they should introspect. It is not a question of policy. It is a question of approach. They should re-orient their approach and policies and then conduct (themselves) in a better manner.

Replying to questions about Rahul Gandhi’s elevation, he said the Congress vice president was already practically running the party.

“There is no doubt about it. What is the problem if he gets a bigger role or becomes president of the party or becomes the Leader of Opposition also or the Leader of Congress Party in Parliament also. There is no problem.

“He (Rahul) has been at the helm of affairs, to my knowledge, for the last 12 years. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to bring an ordinance. He tore it off and threw it away and his words prevailed. If they want to make him leader, best of luck to them. I have no problem. After all, he is youngster,” he said.

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