Sivasagar (Assam), Feb 16 (PTI) Rahul Gandhi is the only leader who can take on the mantle of Congress presidentship as he alone can fight Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party's Assam unit chief Ripun Bora has said, amid a growing chorus within the Congress seeking Gandhi's return to the helm.
Bora said that he has been appealing and demanding that Gandhi take up the party presidency, and asserted he will continue to do so till such time the Wayanad MP becomes the Congress chief again.
'I am the first MP who from the very beginning has been raising his voice that Rahul Gandhi should take up the leadership of the Congress party,' the chief of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee told PTI in an interview here.
'In several meetings and also during a Zoom conference of party chief Sonia Gandhi, I have raised this several times that only he can be Congress president,' Bora said.
Rahul Gandhi is the only leader who can take on the mantle of presidentship, he asserted.
His remarks assume significance as they come amid an ongoing election process to elect a new chief and a growing chorus within the Congress seeking Gandhi's return to the helm.
Three state units of the party -- Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Telangana -- have passed resolutions seeking Gandhi's return as Congress president.
Also, Gandhi has been aggressively campaigning for the party in poll-bound states such as Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Asked if the Assam Congress will also pass a similar resolution as its counterparts from Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Telangana, Bora said the state unit is right now busy preparing for assembly elections but asserted that in the past it has put it on record that it wants Gandhi back at the helm of affairs.
'He (Rahul Gandhi) is strongly against the BJP and only he can fight Modi, so only he can take up party presidency,' the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Earlier this month, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had also aired similar views, saying Rahul Gandhi is the only leader who can take on the mantle of Congress presidentship as he is the one who has been taking a strong stand on important issues without bowing to government's pressure.
The Congress last month announced that the party will have an elected president by June 2021 'at any cost'.
After a three-and-a-half-hour meeting, which was stormy at times, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's highest policy making body, had authorised incumbent chief Sonia Gandhi to schedule the internal elections after the conclusion of assembly polls in five states, including Assam, due to be held in the next few months.
Congress leaders K C Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala had said that the CWC elections will also be held but it remains to be seen whether they can be scheduled before or after the election to the post of Congress president.
Sonia Gandhi took over as interim Congress president after Rahul Gandhi resigned in the wake of the party's Lok Sabha debacle in May 2019. PTI ASK ANB ANB