Amid speculation over who would pick up the reins of the Congress party, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she fully supports her brother Rahul Gandhi’s opinion that a non-Gandhi should be appointed the Congress president.
“Perhaps not in the (resignation) letter but elsewhere, he has said that none of us should be the president of the party and I am in full agreement with him,” Priyanka has said. “I think that the party should find its own path also,” she said.
She made this statement in an interview in the book India Tomorrow: Conversations with the Next Generation of Political Leaders, which has been authored by Pradeep Chibber and Harsh Shah.
Vadra also said that she would accept a non-Gandhi as her ‘boss’. “If he (party president) tells me tomorrow that he doesn’t want me in Uttar Pradesh but wants me to be in Andaman and Nicobar, then I would jolly well go to Andaman and Nicobar,” she was quoted as saying.
Rahul Gandhi stepped down as Congress president after the party faced an electoral drubbing in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sonia Gandhi had taken over as interim chief on August 10 last year. Recently, the Congress party said Sonia Gandhi will continue as interim president till such time a “proper procedure” is implemented in the “not too distant future” to elect a party chief.
Many, including party leaders, have expressed concern over the slide in the Congress due to a purported lack of party leadership. Last month, after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, accused the BJP of trying to topple his government, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had said he was worried for the party.”Worried about our party. Will we wake up only after the horses have bolted from our stables,” he had written on Twitter.
Meanwhile, senior party leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, in an interview with News18, said that if Rahul Gandhi is not ready to resume the leadership of the Congress, the party should hold elections for the post of president and also to the elected seats on the Congress Working Committee, to arrest the perception that it is rudderless and adrift.
Vadra’s statement also assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of suspended Congress leader Sanjay Jha’s claim that about 100 leaders of the party, including MPs, had written to Sonia Gandhi seeking a change in the political leadership of the party. The party had, however, refuted Jha’s claim and Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala described it as BJP’s ploy to divert attention from the issue of the latter’s links with Facebook.