Party wants Sonia Gandhi to continue as president: Sheila Dikshit
New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) Amid suggestions in the party that Rahul Gandhi should be elevated as party president at the Congress Working Committee meeting on November 7, former Delhi Chief Minister and the party’s chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh Sheila Dikshit says the “party wants Sonia Gandhi to continue” as president.
“Well..she is continuing because the party doesn’t want her to go just now. The party wants her to continue, obviously because she has steered the party extraordinarily well. So let us see,” Dikshit told IANS when asked if Sonia Gandhi was ready to continue as party president.
Asked if elevation of party Vice President Rahul Gandhi was expected during the CWC meeting, Dikshit said: “That is something Mrs. Gandhi (Sonia Gandhi) will take a decision on.”
There have been repeated suggestions from party leaders that Rahul Gandhi should take over the reins of the party from his mother Sonia Gandhi.
Party leaders Jairam Ramesh, Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath are among those who have suggested that Rahul Gandhi should take over as party chief.
A party leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was for Rahul Gandhi to decide the time of his elevation.
“He has to decide,” he said, adding that Sonia Gandhi will continue to be a guiding force after Rahul Gandhi’s elevation.
Another party leader said that Rahul Gandhi should take over now as it will bring about a single-point decision making. Sonia Gandhi, she said, should also not be made to take on a hectic poll campaign.
Sonia Gandhi had collapsed during a party roadshow in Varanasi in August and had taken ill. Her first public engagement after that was meeting with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on October 17.
Sonia Gandhi became party chief in 1998 and is the longest-serving president of the party. She was re-elected party chief in 2010 for a five year term.
With her term ending last year, the party had written to the Election Commission seeking time to hold organisational elections by the end of this year.
The CWC meeting is expected to take a decision to seek more time from the Election Commission to conduct its organisational elections.
(Sidhartha Dutta can be contacted at email@example.com)