CHENNAI: Did we hear that Sonia Gandhi is calling it quits when the Congress is facing challenging times ahead of the 2024 general elections?
The former Congress president said on Saturday that her "innings could conclude" with the Bharat Jodo Yatra, an ambitious yatra taken out by her son Rahul Gandhi to connect with the people of the country, although the ruling BJP and its allies saw it as a publicity stunt.
Sonia Gandhi said that the yatra was a turning point for the Congress.
While addressing party leaders at the 85th plenary session of the party in Chattisgarh's Raipur, Sonia acknowledged that “This is a challenging time for Congress and the country as a whole," further adding that, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP have captured every institution. The BJP is fuelling the fire of hatred. It viciously targeted minorities, women, Dalits, and tribals. We must tackle the BJP regime with vigour, reach out to people and convey our message with clarity,” she added.
“Our victories in 2004 and 2009 along with the able leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh gave me personal satisfaction but what gratifies me most is that my innings could conclude with the Bharat Jodo Yatra, a turning point for Congress,” Sonia Gandhi said.
After back-to-back election defeats, Sonia Gandhi stepped back from the Congress leadership last October, she was succeeded by loyalist Kharge, she didn't clarify whether she will contest in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
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Sonia Gandhi took over as party leader in 1998 and served as the longest-serving president of the Congress party. She stepped down as the Congress president in December 2017, but returned to lead the party in August 2019.
She has made her dignified presence felt despite facing the fierce and unscrupulous realpolitik of the BJP-RSS combine.
Sonia Gandhi has not been in the pink of health for some time now. She underwent successful surgery for cervical cancer in the US on August 2011.
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Whatever, the Congress party under Mallikarjun Kharge's leadership would look forward to Sonia Gandhi to share her thoughts to enliven the party as it braces up for an electoral showdown with the BJP next year.