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Cong Rebukes BJP, Says Sonia Can Become Party Chief 40 Times

New Delhi: Congress on Thursday dismissed BJP's objection to a fourth term for Sonia Gandhi as party chief saying she could become the head of the party 40 times.  "We do not discuss the constitution
PTI September 02, 2010 19:13 IST
PTI
New Delhi: Congress on Thursday dismissed BJP's objection to a fourth term for Sonia Gandhi as party chief saying she could become the head of the party 40 times.  

"We do not discuss the constitution of another party... Why four times she (Gandhi) could be the party president 40 times if the party wants," AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters rejecting BJP's suggestions in regard to the election of Gandhi.  

Hitting hard at the main opposition, Dwivedi reminded the BJP, "This democracy has seen that Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister for 17 long years and almost similar was the case with Indira Gandhi. Since, other people do not get a chance they talk about it."  

Visibly agitated over BJP's charge, Dwivedi, who is also the head of the party's media department, said since Congress was a democratic party, this (organisational election) is being discussed. "It does not happen in any other party," he said.  

Senior leader Oscar Fernandes, who is the Chairman of the party's Central Election Authority, dismissed the BJP charge saying that the Congress was following its constitution while electing its President. "At the state level, a leader can be PCC chief for two terms and not more, but this is not applicable to the Congress President," Fernandes said.  

He said the election of Gandhi for the fourth consecutive term at the helm was a decision of the party and its workers and suggested it was none of BJP's business to talk about it.  

The AICC reaction came close on the heels of BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad remark that Gandhi should offer the position of party chief to somebody outside the Gandhi family just as she had "sacrificed" the post of Prime Minister.

"Sonia Gandhi is going to become President of the Congress for the fourth time. Obviously, there would be no opposition. In accordance with the Congress constitution, no office-bearer can become the president of any block, district or state unit for more than two terms," Prasad said. He alleged that Gandhi was the "tallest leader" of her party exercising authority without any "public accountability". PTI