New Delhi: For seven hours on Monday, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) assembly noticed fireworks with 48 of the 52 members of the physique coming down closely on leaders who signed a letter addressed to social gathering chief Sonia Gandhi asking for structural modifications within the inner processes of the social gathering.
4 of the 23 signatories – Chief of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, normal secretary Mukul Wasnik, former Union ministers Anand Sharma and Jitin Prasada – discovered themselves on the receiving finish of assaults by different members.
These 4 leaders, together with senior leaders Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Prithviraj Chavan and others — sought a whole overhaul of the organisation, demanded formation of a parliamentary board, and maintained that the Gandhis will at all times be an integral a part of a “collective management”.
A Congress functionary stated the letter was triggered by apprehension amongst these leaders that the social gathering excessive command would possibly title a 3rd particular person because the interim chief until inner elections are held as each Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had been stated to not be eager to occupy the put up. “They wished to scuttle that transfer and be certain that a frontrunner acceptable to all occupies the put up,” he stated on situation of anonymity.
The CWC assembly began at 11am with social gathering normal secretary KC Venugopal studying out Sonia Gandhi’s letter addressed to him on August 20, asking him to provoke the method to elect a brand new president.
Addressing the assembly, Sonia Gandhi informed Azad that he despatched her the letter on August 7 after which a reminder on August 15. “It was hurtful. me so properly, Azad sahib. How may you assume that I’ll take any resolution on the management challenge with out consulting social gathering leaders? You can at all times come and meet me. I retired way back. I don’t wish to grasp on to this chair. So what’s the motive of this letter?” a CWC member quoted her as having stated on the assembly.
Rahul Gandhi questioned the timing of the letter. “It was written at a time when my mom was in hospital and also you attacked her when she was at her weakest and likewise when the social gathering was weak, combating the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan,” the CWC member quoted him as having stated.
“Difficult her authority and speaking in regards to the collective management was an insult to her. I by no means wished her to be the Congress president. She too didn’t wish to turn into once more,” Rahul Gandhi is alleged to have informed the assembly.
Rahul Gandhi additionally requested Azad how the letter was reported within the press when it was written on the protecting word that there was just one copy handed over to the Congress president and all different copies had been destroyed.
Occasion treasurer Ahmed Patel criticised the dissenters. Naming Azad, Wasnik and Sharma, he stated they had been occupying key posts within the social gathering and mustn’t have written such a letter.
“I had suggested you to not write any letter and informed you that we are going to go and meet Sonia Gandhi personally, however you continue to went forward. Would you like Sonia Gandhi to sit down at residence? Are you doing any favour to the Gandhis by saying they too will likely be a part of the collective management? One could also be offended over sure choices within the social gathering however that doesn’t imply you begin writing letters. I too am out for the final three years however that’s okay,” Patel is alleged to have informed them.
Patel additionally informed Sharma that he ought to have realised what he was writing when he drafted the letter. “You’re speaking about collective management. Whenever you met Baba Ramdev on the airport, did you go after consulting the then Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) and the Congress president (Sonia Gandhi)?” Patel stated. Sibal together with Pranab Mukherjee had met Ramdev on the Delhi airport in June 2011 to dissuade him from launching a quick throughout an agitation in opposition to corruption led by activist Anna Hazare.
Former PM Manmohan Singh urged Sonia Gandhi to proceed on the put up until Rahul Gandhi turns into the president.
Former defence minister AK Antony stated if Sonia Gandhi was unwilling then Rahul Gandhi ought to take over. “Weakening the excessive command is weakening the social gathering. How can my colleagues write such a letter? That is merciless and unlucky.”
Occasion normal secretary Ambika Soni demanded motion in opposition to the 23 leaders. She stated when the social gathering can take motion in opposition to block and district leaders for indiscipline why can’t it do the identical in opposition to these leaders who first wrote the letter after which leaked it. She additionally informed Azad that he turned the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister solely due to Sonia Gandhi.
Wasnik insisted that he’s a celebration loyalist and would by no means go in opposition to the Gandhi household. “I owe quite a bit to Sonia Gandhi. How can anybody say that we did it when she was in hospital? I want her an extended life. No person can query my loyalty to the Congress social gathering. I’m able to face any motion.”
Sharma stated the letter just isn’t in opposition to the Gandhis however solely seeks to level out to sure points within the Congress. “I joined the Congress on the age of 18 years and can die as a Congressman.” “After we getting overwhelmed up with canes in 1977-78, a few of these current right here had been on the opposite aspect,” he stated, referring to leaders within the Congress who joined lately.
When Azad was explaining the rationale behind the letter, Congress chief in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Choudhary intervened and stated “You make lame excuses and defending the indefensible”. At this level, Sonia Gandhi requested Adhir to modify off his mike and to not converse out of flip.
Prasada stated he was prepared to just accept the CWC resolution in letter and spirit and no matter motion it takes in opposition to him. “We had flagged sure organisational points and by no means it was in opposition to the Gandhis.”
Former Union minister RPN Singh praised Sonia Gandhi for being accessible 24×7 to information the social gathering throughout Jharkhand elections. “We gained the elections. Secondly, I wish to inform all CWC members that we should always all study politics from Sonia Gandhi.” He additionally informed the members that it’s stunning that they don’t put forth their viewpoint within the CWC which is the suitable social gathering discussion board for elevating such points.
Former Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken stated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, residence minister Amit Shah and the Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP) are afraid of Rahul Gandhi solely and requested him to imagine the reins of the social gathering instantly.
Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Satav stated he was pained that three of the 23 dissenters had been former Youth Congress presidents and knew very properly how the organisation functioned.
Tariq Hameed Karra, a frontrunner from Jammu and Kashmir, demanded that Sonia Gandhi be made lifetime president of the social gathering. He described the transfer by senior leaders as much less of an inner want and extra of an exterior design to create another management within the Congress and the transfer to declare her as lifetime president would defeat that exterior design.
Former Union minister Jitendra Singh stated there are lots of “Jaichands”, or traitors, within the Congress.