Maharashtra Congress President Balasaheb Thorat on Sunday said that Rahul Gandhi should lead congress now. Releasing a statement on his Twitter handle, Thorat said, "To have a courageous, sensitive and intellectually committed leader is not only the need of the Congress party but the need of the entire country."
"With due respect to his sentiments, we would like to say, 'Come Back, Rahulji'. Until he takes over as full-time president, Soniaji should lead Congress family as party's interim president," he added.
Assam Congress president Ripun Bora said he reiterates his demand to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to give the leadership of the party to Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scared only of him. "In an earlier video conference with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rajya Sabha MPs, I categorically appealed to Sonia Gandhi at this moment to give the leadership of Congress party to Rahul Gandhi as Narendra Modi is scared only of Rahul Gandhi," Assam Congress president Ripun Bora told news agency ANI.
"We demand from the Congress president at the earliest possible time that the leadership of Congress party should go to Rahul Gandhi so that he can lead the party from the front in every nook and corner of the country. And prepare for the next general elections in 2024 and in the elections in different states," he added.
Just before the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting is scheduled to be held on Monday, an internal dispute has emerged regarding "leadership" issues in the party.
Assam Congress President Ripun Bora writes to Congress President Sonia Gandhi requesting her to give the responsibility of Congress President to Rahul Gandhi so that he can lead the party and fight BJP and RSS from the front. pic.twitter.com/9tO0bMwEMz— ANI (@ANI) August 23, 2020
Reportedly several senior Congress leaders have written to party interim president Sonia Gandhi raising a 5-Point Agenda to revive the party, emphasising the need for active leadership in the party and raising questions about the party's condition and direction, as well as demanding the election of the Congress Working Committee.
According to sources, some members of the CWC, MPs and leaders wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi in which they have raised many questions and suggestions about the functioning of the party. It is being said that a five-page letter drafted by two senior leaders and then discussed and signed by others has not openly criticised either Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi but it is being seen as a distrust and charge sheet against the party high command, especially Rahul Gandhi.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tiwari, Shashi Tharoor, Jitin Prasad, Veerappa Moily, Sandeep Dikshit, Pramod Tiwari, PJ Kurien are being named as signatories on this letter. However, none of these leaders are accepting that they are signatories to the communication.
While the Congress has also denied that it has received any such letter, sources in the party said this exercise has been done from the state level where former PCC presidents are involved.
On the condition of anonymity, a leader involved in the process told ANI that the attempt is not against the leadership of Gandhis. "The group of leaders who have written the letter do not agree on all points but the party needs to discuss the issues and leadership issue should be finalised. If Rahul Gandhi is ready to accept the party president's post I will be the first person to welcome it wholeheartedly," the leader said.