BENGALURU: There is a need to take some hard decisions to strengthen the party and ensure that it is ready for the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The party has full faith in Sonia Gandhi’s leadership to take such steps, said former Karnataka Chief Minister M Veerappa Moily.
Moily, who was among the 23 senior leaders who wrote a letter to AICC interim president Sonia Gandhi, which was seen as a sign of internal dissent, told The New Indian Express on Tuesday that they never questioned her leadership and that was not their intention at all.
“Sonia Gandhi’s leadership is always required,” he said and recalled her contribution to the party’s victory in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections and how she successfully managed the alliance partners during the UPA rule. “The party cannot afford to lose the 2024 elections, having already lost two elections. That will be very crucial for the party,” he stressed.
Senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma and other Congress Working Committee members, who were signatories to the letter, reportedly came under fire from top leaders during Monday’s Congress Working Committee meeting. The timing and intent behind the letter was called into question.
According to Moily, the next General Elections will be like a “do-or-die battle” for the party and preparations have to start right now by taking “hard decisions” like making changes in state units, wherever required, by day-to-day monitoring of the performance of functionaries in charge of states, holding everyone, right from block Congress president, accountable and ensuring that the All India Congress Committee general secretaries spend 15 days in a month in the states they are given charge of.
Moily, who held many important positions in the government and the party in his over five decades of association with the Congress, said they have realised that it is the worst of the time and the process of rebuilding the party has to start and micro-management of the party has to be done at every level.
“The Congress has to rebuild itself, as the collapse of a political party is detrimental to democracy in the country, especially when the ruthless manner in which the BJP is going ahead with dividing the community and the country and also setting a wrong precedent by encouraging defections. With this kind of distortion, democracy cannot survive for long,” he said and added that the party needs to be battle-ready to take on the BJP.