(Eds: adding details) Bengaluru, Aug 23 (PTI) Amid talks of having a 'full time' leadership in Congress that is active in the field and 'visible', leaders of the party's Karnataka unit on Sunday threw their weight behind the Gandhi family.
Ahead of the Congress Working Committee meeting on Monday, state leaders also pitched for Rahul Gandhi to take over the mantle of the party if its current chief Sonia Gandhi wants to step down.
The Party's state unit Chief D K Shivakumar said the entire Congress party in Karnataka stands by the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and the Gandhi family.
'Mrs. Gandhi has led the Congress during times of crisis and saved our party.
Anything that has to be discussed must be done so in the party forum and not in the media,' he tweeted.
Leader of the Opposition in the assembly and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah termed the development as 'unfortunate'.
'It is unfortunate that the leadership of Gandhi family is being questioned by a few.
In these difficult times of undeclared emergency & attack on democracy by @BJP4India, we should collectively strive to strengthen @INCIndia & not weaken it,' the former Chief Minister tweeted.
The tweets by Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar came amid reports that 23 Congress leaders have written to party chief Sonia Gandhi on the leadership issue.
Having a 'full time' leadership that is active in the field and 'visible' in party offices, dissolution of powers to state units and revamping the CWC in line with the party constitution are some of the far-reaching suggestions made by 23 senior Congress leaders in a letter to Sonia Gandhi to revive the organisation, sources said on Sunday.
They were also critical of the way the Congress Working Committee, the party's apex decision-making body, was being constituted and was functioning.
Shivakumar has also written to Sonia Gandhi, requesting her not get perturbed by any developments in the party and continue to lead it, or persuade Rahul Gandhi to take up the leadership.
'We all stand by you and we go by your decisions and directions.
If you feel that it is time to pass on the mantle of leadership, you may do so by kindly persuading Shri Rahul Ji to take up the leadership.
We, as loyal and committed Congress workers,will continue to be loyal to you and will wait to be led by you,' he said.
Siddaramaiah too later in a series of tweets said Rahul Gandhi should take charge as AICC President 'in the interest of our country.' 'His leadership will rejuvenate Congress, energise party workers and reassure the people of our country,' he said.
'I am confident that Shri.@RahulGandhi, under the guidance of Smt.Sonia Gandhi & other senior leaders, will successfully lead Indian National Congress party.
Even our party workers feel the same,' Siddaramaiah said in another tweet. PTI KSU APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH