Rahul Gandhi remains top leader in Congress: Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: A large section within the Congress has always felt that Rahul Gandhi must come back as party chief and he remains the “top leader” in the party, senior leader Salman Khurshid said on Saturday, asserting that Gandhi should be allowed to make his decision at a time of his choice.

In an interview to PTI, Khurshid also asserted that the Congress was going through a “transitional process”, but there was no leadership crisis plaguing the party as Sonia Gandhi was there at the helm.

His remarks assume significance as they come after voices emerged from several quarters within the Congress on the leadership issue with many leaders, including Shashi Tharoor and Sandeep Dikshit, demanding that the matter be finally laid to rest.

Tharoor on Thursday had urged the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to hold leadership elections to “energise workers and inspire voters”.

Asked about Dikshit and Tharoor’s views, Khurshid said, “We have had elections in the past. We have also had people say that elections are not necessarily the best thing. There are two points of view. When we get to that point, we will cross the bridge.” He said talking about such issues in the media doesn’t help the Congress.

Asked if Rahul Gandhi was best suited to lead the Congress, Khurshid said, “We have all said this. It is now written in stone, it is clear. But if we accept him as our leader, let us give him the choice of decision making and the timing. Why do we want to impose (our views) on him.” On whether there was a dominant view within the Congress that Gandhi must come back as party chief after resigning last year taking moral responsibility for the Lok Sabha polls defeat, he said there has always been such a feeling in a large section of the party.

“But it was embarrassing to continue repeating it because if you do believe that he is a leader, you need to leave some decisions to him, not impose the timing, not impose the nature of the decision, let him take a decision,” the former Union minister said.

“He (Gandhi) said he is not going away and he has not gone away. He is still here. If he does not have a label because he does not want to use that label today, lets respect him for it and we have done so,” Khurshid said, adding that it is the media that does not stop talking about it.

Khurshid asserted that Gandhi remains the “top leader” in the party.

“He (Gandhi) remains the top leader...nobody else is the top leader. But there are other leaders who have their own significance, who contribute to the entirety of the process that the Congress party is,” he said.

Khurshid said the fact that parties opposing the Congress continue to attack him more than anyone else, shows that he remains the top leader.

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