NEW DELHI: With the Congress facing uncertainty after Rahul Gandhi's resignation as party chief, voices within are growing in favour of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra leading the party in these critical times.
Former MP Abhijit Mukherjee, who is the son of ex-president Pranab Mukherjee, made an open plea in favour of Priyanka Gandhi, saying she should not ignore the "clarion call of lakhs of Congress workers" across the country to take over the party.
Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Anil Shastri said Priyanka Gandhi is the best person to lead the party at this time and the AICC should elect her as the new Congress chief in the wake of Rahul Gandhi's insistence on quitting the post.
"Now that Rahul Gandhi is firm on his resignation as Congress President, it's the question of party's existence. And, if the party has to survive we have to have a President at the earliest. There can't be a better person to lead the Congress than Priyanka Gandhi and let the AICC elect her," Shastri said on Twitter.
The Congress is yet to decide on its new president after Rahul Gandhi made his resignation public, taking moral responsibility for the party's Lok Sabha poll debacle.
Gandhi, during the crucial meeting of the Congres Working Committee on May 25 where he quit as party chief, had made it clear that the grand old party should find a new president other than anyone from the Gandhi family.
He had also rejected demands from senior partymen for making Priyanka Gandhi as party chief.
Abhijit Mukherjee said the party is facing an existential crisis and Priyanka Gandhi should take over its reins and change its fortunes.
She will drive it back to a landslide victory like her grandmother Indira Gandhi did, he said.
Chiming with the views of these leaders, former Union minister Shriprakash Jaiswal also made a strong pitch for Priyanka taking charge as party president.
"When Congress is facing an existential crisis after Rahul Ji has tendered his resignation, Priyanka Gandhi Ji must not ignore the clarion call of lakhs of Congress workers and supporters throughout India," Mukherjee said.
"I am strongly hopeful that it will be a rewind of 1980 once again driving the Congress to a landslide victory like her grandmother and our charismatic leader Priyadarshini Indira Gandhi did," the leader from West Bengal said.
The former MP from Jangipur, who lost the 2019 election, also lauded the role of Sonia Gandhi for being instrumental in forming the UPA government for 10 years and Rahul Gandhi for leading the party with vigour and dedication.
Jaiswal, a former minister in the UPA government, said this is the right time for Priyanka Gandhi to lead the party.
"She should command the party at these critical times. She is capable and can lead the party," the Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh said.
Congress leader from Odisha Bhakt Charan Das said a large number of party workers are demanding that she should take over after Rahul Gandhi has decided to resign.
Senior Congressmen say Rahul Gandhi is still the Congress president as the CWC is yet to accept his resignation.
Though Rahul is pressing that he is no longer the Congress chief, the CWC has rejected his resignation and asked him to restructure the party at all levels.