Sonia Gandhi will continue as Congress' interim president for now, with the next AICC session expected to set in motion the process of selecting a new party president, reports said on Monday, 24 August, as the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting concluded after seven hours.
Crisis and confusion marked the crucial CWC meeting on Monday, after a letter written by senior party functionaries, calling for a change in leadership, betrayed the fault lines in the party. While Rahul Gandhi reportedly slammed the letter criticising the Congress leadership, the party denied that he accused the signatories of the letter of “colluding” with the BJP.
Senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was one of the signatories of the 'dissent' letter and had said that he would resign if the "collusion with BJP" allegation can be proven, clarified later that Rahul never said the letter in question was written ‘in collusion with BJP.’
- “We are a large family, we have differences on many occasions, but in the end, we come together as one,” Sonia Gandhi was quoted as saying at the CWC meet
- Kapil Sibal earlier attributed the ‘colluding with BJP’ remark to Rahul Gandhi, but later deleted his tweet after being “informed by Gandhi that he never said what was attributed to him”
- Gandhi reportedly said that the letter “seeking sweeping changes” was written at a time when the party was fighting the BJP in MP and Rajasthan
- Earlier, Sonia Gandhi had asked the party to start the process to find the next chief
'Have Differences, But Come Together as One in the End': Sonia Gandhi
After the CWC meet, the Congress said its top decision-making body has unanimously resolved to strengthen the hands of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and has made it clear that no one will permitted to undermine the party and its leadership, reported PTI.
Sonia has been authorised to effect necessary organisational changes to deal with the challenges facing the party, the resolution reportedly said.
"The CWC notes that internal party issues cannot be deliberated through the media or public fora. CWC urges and advises all concerned to raise such issues only in party fora," party leader KC Venugopal said in a briefing after the meeting.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala quoted Sonia Gandhi from her concluding remarks at the meet, saying, "We are a large family, we have differences on many occasions, but in the end, we come together as one. The need of the hour is to fight for the cause of the people and (against) forces that are failing this country."
"Organisational issues are always addressed and process of constitution and reconstitution is a continuous one," she further said, adding that she doesn't hold any ill-will against any colleague as she treats them as part of the family.
Sonia Gandhi to Continue as Congress Chief For Now: Reports
Sonia Gandhi will continue as the Congress' interim president for now, with a new chief to be elected within the next six months, sources cited by news agency ANI said on Monday, 24 August, as the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting concluded after seven hours.
“Madam (Sonia Gandhi) has to continue and the election will take place as soon as possible, which is the unanimous decision of the working committee,” CWC member, KH Muniyappa was quoted as saying.
"“There is no different opinion on the leadership and even Ghulam Nabi Azad ji, Mukul Wasnik ji and Anand Sharma ji have given in writing that there is no dispute on leadership.”" - KH Muniyappa, as quoted by ANI
Earlier, sources pointed out that the leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi said that the letter was written to convey some concerns for the betterment of the organisation, as they expressed full faith in her leadership.
Meanwhile, Ambika Sona reportedly said during the CWC meeting that as per the party constitution, action can be taken against those who wrote to Sonia Gandhi. Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, on the other hand, asserted that they were within limits while raising concerns, adding that action can be taken if someone sees it as a breach of discipline.
'Rahul Gandhi Never Said Letter Was Written in Collusion With BJP': Ghulam Nabi Azad
Senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is one of the signatories of the 'dissent' letter and had said that he would resign if the "collusion with BJP" allegation can be proven, has clarified that Rahul Gandhi never said the ‘dissent’ letter to Sonia Gandhi was written in collusion with the BJP, reported ANI.
Sibal Deletes Tweet On 'Colluding With BJP' Remark
“Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him,” said Kapil Sibal after slamming Rahul Gandhi for allegedly accusing the dissent letter signatories of “colluding with BJP.”
Don't Mislead By Media Discourse: Surjewala Tweets to Sibal
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Rahul Gandhi did not say “ a word” about signatories of the letter colluding with the BJP. He asked former Union Minister Kapil Sibal to refrain from making such statements.
Sh. Rahul Gandhi hasn’t said a word of this nature nor alluded to it.— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) August 24, 2020
Pl don’t be mislead by false media discourse or misinformation being spread.
But yes, we all need to work together in fighting the draconian Modi rule rather then fighting & hurting each other & the Congress. https://t.co/x6FvPpe7I1
Will Resign If Rahul's Collusion With BJP Remark Proven: Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad says that he will resign if the“collusion with BJP” allegation can be proven, reported ANI, quoting sources.
Azad is one of the signatories of the ‘dissent’ letter.
Kapil Sibal Responds to Rahul Gandhi's 'Colluding With BJP' Remark
Never made a pro-BJP statement in the last 30 years, tweeted Kapil Sibal after Rahul Gandhi questions timing of dissent letter.
Rahul Gandhi Questions Timing of 'Dissent Letter'
Rahul Gandhi slammed the letter criticising Congress leadership, stating that the note "seeking sweeping" changes were written at a time when the party was fighting BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
"Why cant issues be discussed in CWC? Why in media?," Gandhi reportedly said, tweeted TV channels.
Do Not Wish to Continue: Sonia Tells CWC
Interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi reportedly tells CWC she does not wish to continue in her post and asks them to begin deliberations to find the next party chief.
However, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reportedly urged Sonia Gandhi to continue, reported PTI.
Sonia Gandhi also handed over a letter to KC Venugopal replying to note sent by dissidents, contents of which were reportedly read out.
Virtual CWC Meeting Begins
Congress leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Chief Ministers Capt Amarinder Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Bhagel join the Congress Working Committee's virtual meeting.
Cong Workers Protest Outside AICC HQ
Congress workers raise slogans outside AICC headquarters in Delhi, demanding that party president should be from Gandhi family, reported ANI.
J&K Cong Committee Extends Support to Rahul Gandhi
Jammu And Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee extended support to Rahul Gandhi to be the next party president "if there is any change in Congress Presidency,” the unit said, in a statement.
CWC Meet to Begin Shortly
The Congress Working Committee meeting, which is likely to discuss the party leadership, is scheduled to begin at 11 am on Monday, 24 August.
Sonia to Offer Resignation as Leaders Seek Congress' Revival: Reports
After nearly 23 Congress leaders wrote to the interim chief Sonia Gandhi seeking the party’s revival, several reports suggested that the 73-year-old veteran leader has offered to step down at the party meet scheduled for 24 August and asked for senior leaders to find her replacement.
The reports have however been deemed by the party as untrue.
Senior Congress leaders – including former chief ministers, sitting members of parliament (MP) and former union ministers – have written a letter to Sonia Gandhi asking for changes in the party, arguing that the party’s revival is “a national imperative.”
. Read more on India by The Quint.CWC Meet: Sonia Gandhi to Continue as Congress Chief For NowHow Indian Matchmaking Hides the Truth About Aparna Shewakramani . Read more on India by The Quint.