Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh’s view that Sonia Gandhi should continue as party president and Rahul Gandhi should not lead the party at this point is endorsed by several others leaders in Punjab.
On Monday, 32 MLAs and several ex-MLAs issued a statement supporting Singh, who has been slammed by president of the Punjab Congress unit Partap Singh Bajwa.
Joginder Singh Panjgrain, Congress MLA from Faridkot, said, “The party is going through a phase of crisis. In this situation, Sonia should lead the party, she is a trusted leader. It is not that we do not want Rahul to be our president, but people trust Sonia more than anyone else. Whatever Captain has said is absolutely correct.”
Singh had kicked up a storm with he said that Sonia alone could keep the Congress together.
“In 10 years, you cannot be the captain of the ship. Rahul needs more experience and needs to travel when he is back,” he had said.
Hardyal Kamboj, MLA from Rajpura, said, “Captain has always supported the Gandhi family and stood by them like a rock. He thought it through before coming out with that statement. When time comes, Rahul can be the president, but we are passing through a bad phase now. In this situation, it would be better if Sonia continues to be the leader.”
Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Randhawa said, “What wrong has Captain said?”
Others, too, backed Singh, but were circumspect in speaking against Rahul’s elevation.
Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema said Singh “has only opined that the time is not right for Rahul to be the leader”. He added, “We should hand him a strong party so that he does not fail.”
Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjeet Singh said Singh, who has had a relationship with the Gandhis for long, was merely advising Rahul. Former MLA Rana echoed, “There is no bigger sympathiser of Rahul than Captain.”
Guruharsahai MLA Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi said Singh was only voicing his “personal feeling”. “What he wanted to convey was that there should be continuity in leadership. It is the prerogative of Sonia if she wants to hand over the leadership role to her son. We had a bad experience when Sitaram Kesri took over. The party did well only after Sonia took over,” he said.