BENGALURU: Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday denied reports of him being in the race for All-India Congress Committee president.
After the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi, Kharge said he conveyed at the meeting that all leaders unanimously supported Sonia Gandhi to continue as AICC chief or convince Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the post.
“It is mere speculation,” he said, on him being in the race for the party chief’s post. He said that all concerns, including that of leaders who sought a change in leadership, were addressed, but the priority was discussing the party’s future action over issues concerning the economy, unemployment and Chinese incursion.
‘Sonia or Rahul must lead party’
Kharge said Sonia enjoyed the support of all Congress leaders and it was amply clear at the meeting.
“We have lost power due to various reasons and I aired my personal opinion that Sonia Gandhi should continue as AICC president. In case she cannot, Rahul Gandhi should take over,” Kharge said.
The CWC meeting discussed key issues like Narendra Modi government’s failures, failing economy, job losses, labour welfare concerns and others, he added.
The CWC discussed the letter by 23 senior leaders seeking a change in party leadership, Congress Legislature Party chief Siddaramaiah wrote to Sonia, reminding her that it is not the first time that the Congress has faced difficulties.
He said, “I humbly request you to continue as the President of All India Congress Committee, and if you feel that your health may not permit for full-fledged dedication, I urge you to convince Shri Rahul Gandhi to take up the position.” He said, “This is not the first time that the INC has faced difficulties, and every time, the party has made a comeback.
We should always remember that the Gandhi family held the party together during all difficult times, and their contribution shall always be etched in the memories of all Indians and Congressmen,” Siddaramaiah said in his letter.
He added that Indira Gandhi led the party to victory despite losing in 1977 and Rajiv Gandhi had filled up a “huge vacuum of leadership” created after her death, much like Sonia Gandhi did after Rajiv’s assassination.