No ill-will towards anyone, Sonia Gandhi says as she continues to lead Congress
New Delhi/IBNS: As the Congress party decided on Monday that the helm of the party's leadership will remain with Sonia Gandhi for now, the 73-year-old leader in her concluding remarks at Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting said she held "no ill-will" towards any of her colleagues as she aimed at ending the internal stalemate.
In reference to the 23 senior leaders, who were also dissent-letter writers, she said: "I am hurt but they are my colleagues, bygones are bygones, let us work together."
Ending all speculations of Sonia Gandhi's resignation from the party's top post, the CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body, ended its meeting on a rather conciliatory note after 7-long hours.
"The CWC, reflecting the overwhelming view and desire of the rank and file of the Congress, unanimously resolved to strengthen the hands of Smt Sonia Gandhi and Shri Rahul Gandhi in every possible way,” the Congress party said in its resolution.
The members of the CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body, decided to form a committee to help Gandhi in day-to-day functioning of the organisation, said media reports.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh moved a resolution asking Gandhi to continue even as the latter in her opening remarks at the meeting asked the party to start looking for a new chief.
In its resolution, the party has set a six-month time-frame for a session of the All India Congress Committee to launch the search for a new chief, as asked by Sonia Gandhi.
The party also urged all members to refrain from raising internal party issues in media or public fora.
"The CWC urges and advises all concerned to raise such issues only in party fora in the interest of propriety and discipline," the resolution read.
Resolution passed by Congress Working Committee. pic.twitter.com/yXBg0qi0fE— Congress (@INCIndia) August 24, 2020
Earlier in an unfolding of drama hinting at the deepening crisis within the Congress party, 23 senior leaders called for a change in the leadership at all levels, a day after Sonia Gandhi expressed her desire to step down as the outfit's president.
In a letter, the 23 Congress leaders, including five Chief Ministers, had called for sweeping changes at all levels of the party.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal also slammed Rahul Gandhi for accusing him of "colluding" with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), bringing the fight within the party to public domain but later withdrew his tweet against the Gandhi scion.
Sibal withdrew his tweet after he was told by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that the accusation was not "attributed" to the senior leader.
Sibal tweeted, "Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet ." (sic)
Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him .— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) August 24, 2020
I therefore withdraw my tweet .
At the CWC meeting, Rahul too had questioned the timing of the letter sent by his party colleagues over the leadership issue.
The Congress, which had ruled the country for over half a century since Independence in 1947, was decimated in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by the Narendra Modi-led BJP, getting reduced to 40 odd seats across the country.
The 2019 Lok Sabha polls were nothing short of a mere replay of the 2014 setback for the Congress, as the grand old party just managed to cross 50 seats in the vast country of 1.3 billion people.
After Rahul had stepped down as the party chief in 2019, Sonia was appointed as the interim president of the Congress.