As many as seven Lok Sabha MPs of the Congress on Saturday urged Rahul Gandhi to take over as the party president at a meeting convened by party chief Sonia Gandhi, bringing to the fore once again the churn in the grand old party over the lingering leadership crisis.
Senior leader Digvijaya Singh waded in through a series of tweets, asking who was preventing Rahul Gandhi from taking over the reins of the party and why he voluntarily withdrew from the scene after the Lok Sabha elections.
Singh, who was once considered close to the former Congress president, batted for Rahul and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, asking why are those who do not support their aggressive stand still in the Congress.
Leaders interpreted the demand by the MPs and Singh’s statement as positioning considering that the party will face the leadership question again when Sonia Gandhi completes one year as the interim chief on August 10.
At the virtual meeting of Lok Sabha MPs, both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul lashed out at the BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over its handling of Covid-19, the Chinese incursion and the economy. Rahul, it is learnt, told the MPs that the Prime Minister had lied to the nation on the Chinese ingress.
Rahul Gandhi remained silent when party MPs Kodikunnil Suresh, Manickam Tagore, Anto Antony, Gaurav Gogoi, Mohammad Jawed, Abdul Khaleque and Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka urged him to return as the Congress president.
The meeting was attended by 45 MPs but the others did not join the chorus.
Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor is said to have praised Rahul’s belligerent attacks against the government.
The demand for Rahul’s return to the Congress top post has grown in the last few weeks. A similar demand was made by some members, including Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee last month.
Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP and former general secretary of the AICC, put out a series of tweets backing Rahul and Priyanka. “I personally support the aggressive stand which Rahul ji and Priyanka ji are taking on issues of national interest in India and UP. If this is not appreciated by some leaders in Congress then why are they in Congress?”
Singh argued that the leadership must urgently address the issue of reviving party institutions right from booth level to the All India Congress Committee.
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