AHEAD OF a crucial Congress Working Committee meeting on Monday, a letter to Congress party president Sonia Gandhi declaring “complete and unwavering support” to the Gandhi family was circulated among Congress MLAs and MPs across states.
The letter, first written by Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, declares “unequivocal and complete faith” in her leadership, and says that the “Congress party is safe only in the hands of Soniaji and Rahulji”.
The letter comes hours after The Indian Express reported that 23 senior Congress leaders, including five former Chief Ministers, several Congress Working Committee members and sitting MPs, wrote to Sonia Gandhi demanding a thorough overhaul of the party’s leadership.
Those who received the contents of Chowdhury‘s letter said they were expected to endorse and send it onward to the Congress high command. By Sunday night, at least half-a-dozen Congress Lok Sabha MPs, few Rajya Sabha MPs, and several MLAs had posted on Twitter the letter addressed to Sonia Gandhi in their respective letter-heads.
Manickam Tagore, Lok Sabha MP from Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu, said on Twitter, “We are Loksabha members present in different parts of the country and we can’t sign in one letter so our leader in Loksabha wrote first we are following it. It’s more voice than 23.” Varsha Gaikwad, Congress MLA and Minister of School Education, Maharashtra, posted the letter with the message, “My heartfelt letter to Smt. Sonia Gandhi ji urging her to consider all Congress workers humble appeal.”
Some other Lok Sabha MPs who posted the same letter are Jothimani (Karur), Saptagiri Ulaka (Koraput), Md Jawaid (Kishanganj) and Ravneet Singh Bittu (Ludhiana). Those from Rajya Sabha include Amee Yagnik, Rajee Satav and PL Punia.
The letter by each one of them starts thus: “We write to you today with a heavy heart and in light of recent reports over concerns raised by some leaders about Congress’s leaders. We’ve heard and read with dismay and disbelief these claims being made by even those members of the party, who have benefitted and grown in the Congress due to your encouragement and the faith that you have placed in them.”
It further states, “Now at a time when the country faces a grave threat from the BJP-RSS and their fascist government, to raise the bogey of a “leadership crisis” at the behest of some interested parties is only a “manufactured truth” that they would like to perpetuate to derail your and Rahulji’s persistent efforts to pin down the Modi government on its failed governance. This is a deliberate attempt to weaken the party.”
Anticipating a showdown at Monday’s CWC meeting where the concerns raised by the 23 leaders are likely to be discussed, the letter circulated among several party MPs, MLAs and ministers, termed the challenge to the leadership as untenable. “No one else can, nor will, do justice,” it said, recounting how Sonia has shepherded the party through difficult times.
Requesting her to continue, it said, “We know you are facing difficulties. Yet it is our humble appeal to you to continue to be our leader.”
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