Sonia Gandhi wants to be relieved as congress president; Azmi offers to resign in CWC meeting

New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi asked to be replaced as Congress president and urged the party to find a successor at the party’s Congress working committee meeting, a day after an explosive letter written by 26 top leaders requiring “a full-time, visible leadership” emerged. 

Amid sharp reactions to his reported allegation that signatories of the letter accused them of colluding with the ruling BJP, Rahul Gandhi as well as the Congress put out denials.

The Congress, however, denied his comments saying he “hadn’t said a word of this nature”.

Kapil Sibal, one of the signatories to the “dissenters'” letter, withdrew an angry tweet he had posted in reaction to Rahul Gandhi.

“Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet,” Kapil Sibbal tweeted.

He had earlier tweeted: “Rahul Gandhi says we are colluding with BJP. Succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress party. Defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP Government. Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue yet ‘we are colluding with the BJP

Sonia Gandhi’s declaration prompted statements on the side of her and sharp analysis of the letter-writers, for the most part by Rahul Gandhi who interceded to charge the “dissenters” of collaborating with the BJP. The letter, requesting “collective decision making”, raises doubt about the leadership of the Gandhi’s, who have led the Congress for a lot of its 134-year history. One of the signatories to the letter, Ghulam Nabi Azad, offered to resign if “he was in any manner mixed up with BJP”. 

Rahul Gandhi, in an intervention, hit out at the signatories exactly and blamed them for colluding with the BJP. He questioned why the letter attacked the Congress “when it was at its weakest, when it was fighting crises in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and when the Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) was unwell”. 

Here are the highlights on this massive story:

  • Sonia Gandhi asked the party to begin deliberations to set up a procedure to find her substitution as Congress president, a post she took on an interim basis after her son Rahul Gandhi quit over the party’ national election defeat. 
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is an individual from the Congress Working Committee (CWC), read out the “dissent letter” when it was his chance to speak. He was scheduled to be among the early speakers yet was reportedly pushed down as the meeting progressed. As a delegate of the “dissenters”, Mr Azad got himself the sole target of criticism by Rahul Gandhi just as others. 
  • The “dissidents” who composed the August 7 letter – including previous union ministers and prominent MPs – were also condemned strongly by different leaders including previous Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AK Anthony. 
  • This is the first time since 1999, when Sharad Pawar is excited over Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin, that the Congress has seen a composed rebel against the Nehru-Gandhi leadership. Sources state passing by the Congress playbook, there might be a “consistent goal” resting confidence in Sonia Gandhi as chief. 
  • Sources said Mr Azad safeguarded the letter and said he would resign on the off chance that it was set up that he had colluded with the BJP, as Rahul Gandhi had affirmed. 
  • The “vulnerability” over the leadership and the “float” in the party hosts debilitated workers and debilitated the get-together, said the letter marked by senior pioneers like Vivek Tankha and Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharor, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prithviraj Chavan, Shashi Tharoor. The letter focused on that the Gandhis will consistently be an essential piece of an “aggregate authority” – a huge proclamation against the Congress’ number 1 family. 
  • Sonia Gandhi’s declaration may open up two situations. On the off chance that Rahul Gandhi additionally will not rethink, Sonia Gandhi may remain on as interim chief until the party chooses a non-Gandhi president either through decisions or accord. The other choice is Rahul Gandhi consenting to take over as interim president which, as indicated by sources near him, is distant.
  • Many accept the letter was proposed to thwart endeavors to bring back Rahul Gandhi as party chief. In recent weeks, many Congress chiefs have pitched for his arrival. Rahul Gandhi has so far wouldn’t returned as Congress president and has said that he will keep on battling the BJP-led RSS. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also clear she will stay as a general secretary and not take on any greater influential position in the party, sources said. 
  • Sources say the signatories to the letter had attempted to meet with Sonia Gandhi to defuse tension before the meeting, yet were informed that Rahul Gandhi would meet them. 

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