Congress speaks in different voices over leadership issue

New Delhi: Different voices emerged from Congress today on the leadership issue with senior leader Ambika Soni insisting that the party needs Sonia Gandhi as President while party general secretary Digvijay Singh pitched for Rahul
congress speaks in different voices over...
PTI April 06, 2015 22:07 IST

New Delhi: Different voices emerged from Congress today on the leadership issue with senior leader Ambika Soni insisting that the party needs Sonia Gandhi as President while party general secretary Digvijay Singh pitched for Rahul Gandhi, saying a “generational change has to take place”.

“There is no question of having one at the cost of the other. Congress President is our President. We need her. And you see in few days she has been moving from state, meeting farmers, getting party energised. The whole party is upbeat,” Soni told reporters.

Brushing aside questions that party spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit's remarks indicated that Rahul is not wanted by some in the party amid talk of his possible elevation as Congress President, Soni made a strong defence of Rahul Gandhi, Rahul is on a sabbatical for more than a month and is expected to be back within two weeks.

Dikshit, speaking in his personal capacity, has sparked off a debate in Congress with his remarks that Sonia is the “leader” for “99 per cent of” partymen and she is needed at the helm at this time more than ever in the past.

Speaking separately, Digvijay Singh insisted that a generational change has to take place, wondering “can you defy the law of nature?”.

“A generational change has to take place. It is the law of nature. Can you defy the law of nature”, Singh, who is a senior AICC General Secretary, told reporters.

Singh at the outset made it clear that it was for the Congress President to decide on the next party chief.

“Leave that to the leader”, he remarked when asked as to when a change at the top will be possible.”It is for her to decide. She is the leader and she shall remain the leader.”

He said that the Congress Working Committee was “supreme” to take a decision on the issue and it could be ratified by the AICC.

At the same time, Singh said that there was nothing wrong in what party spokesman Sandeep Dikshit has said on the leadership issue.

There has been intense speculation in party circles that Rahul could be elevated as Congress President at AICC session expected to take place by May.

Significantly, AICC today dismissed as “incorrect and needless speculation” that it has decided to postpone the AICC session to September and thereby delaying a change at the helm by another six months.

“News appearing in a certain section of media suggesting deferment of AICC sesssion to September is incorrect and needless speculation aimed at creating political confusion.

“As the dates of the AICC session will be decided, we shall appropriately inform all concerned,” Congress Communication department in-charge Randeep Surjewala said.

His reaction came on the heels of reports that a change at the top in the Congress was not possible till September as the party high command had decided to postpone the AICC session, earlier being planned this month.

Talk is that the issue of next Congress president will gain momentum once Rahul returns from his sabbatical. Sonia Gandhi, who has led the party for 17 years, had told the media in Amethi last week that he will be “back soon”.

 

 
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