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Unfair to expect Sonia Gandhi to carry burden, says Tharoor, calls for elections to party president

Senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor spoke exclusively to India TV on the future of Congress party president saying he welcomed Sonia Gandhi's appointment as Interim President last year but believe it’s unfair to her to expect her to carry burden.

Vijai Laxmi Vijai Laxmi
New Delhi Updated on: August 10, 2020 23:40 IST
Shashi Tharoor, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi
Image Source : FILE PHOTO

If Rahul Gandhi is ready to resume the leadership, all he has to do is to withdraw his resignation, says Shashi Tharoor

Senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor spoke exclusively to India TV on the future of Congress party president saying he welcomed Sonia Gandhi's appointment as Interim President last year but believe it’s unfair to her to expect her to carry this burden indefinitely. He also said that if Rahul Gandhi is ready to resume the leadership, all he has to do is to withdraw his resignation.

IndiaTV: Sonia Gandhi has completed her one year tenure as the interim president of congress party, do you think Congress now should have a full-fledged president, as uncertainty at the helm of the affairs is detrimental for the party and may further dent party's prospects?

Shashi Tharoor: I certainly believe we should be clear about our leadership going forward. I welcomed Soniaji’s appointment as Interim President last year but I do believe it’s unfair to her to expect her to carry this burden indefinitely. My own personal view, which as you know, I have been advocating for some time now, is that elections to the CWC and for the post of president would certainly have a number of beneficial outcomes for the party. A participatory democratic process would significantly add to the incoming leader's credibility and legitimacy which, in turn, would be vital assets as they set about the significant organisational challenges associated with re-energising the rank and file of the party.

India TV: Do you think former Congress president Rahul Gandhi should take over as the president of the Congress party, as many have been suggesting that he is the only one who is taking on the Modi Government; hence he is the perfect choice for the post?

Shashi Tharoor: Of course, if Rahul Gandhi is ready to resume the leadership, all he has to do is to withdraw his resignation. He was elected to serve till December 2022 and can just pick up the reins again. Just look at active and dynamic leadership these last few months. Through his activities during this lockdown, whether it has been on the issue of the COVID-19 virus or Chinese transgressions, Rahul Gandhi has without a question and almost singlehandedly done a remarkable job in holding the present government accountable for its actions and failures.

He has also displayed tremendous foresight and vision, been a constructive voice that has offered critical inputs, and has shown an impressive capability to really understand the aspirations of the people of this country during these challenging times. I certainly think he has the mettle, capability, and aptitude to once again lead the party, given the widespread admiration and support he enjoys among the rank and file of the party.

On Sunday, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram had said Congress must expedite the process of finding a full-term president to arrest the growing public perception that the party is "adrift and rudderless". Tharoor also said that he certainly thinks Rahul Gandhi has the "mettle, capability and aptitude to once again lead the party", but if he does not wish to do so then the party must "take action" to elect a new chief.

His comments assume significance as they come just ahead of Sonia Gandhi completing one year as interim chief on August 10(today), with the party yet to find her successor.

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