New Delhi: Members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party, unanimously called for Rahul Gandhi’s elevation to party president on Monday.
Member after member suggested that heir apparent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi should helm the party at a meeting of the CWC, which was chaired by Rahul. The Congress president did not attend the meeting.
Forty-six-year-old Rahul was appointed party vice-president of the party in January 2013 at Congress’s brainstorming session in Jaipur.
Talks about his elevation have been on for quite some time now.
Sources said the ball was set rolling by senior Congress leader A.K. Antony, who first spoke about the need for Rahul to take over the party leadership. Antony’s suggestion received the backing of all other CWC members attending the meeting, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, sources said.
“CWC was of view that Rahul Gandhi must take over presidency for Congress party, its high time the Congress mobilises all forces to fight against the dictatorial rule of Modi government,” Indian Express quoted A.K. Antony saying after the meeting ended.
In his opening remarks at the meeting, Rahul said the country was witnessing some of its “darkest hours” under the present regime, with the government silencing all those who disagree with it. “Hiding behind the cloak of national security, civil society is being intimidated for asking questions. Television channels are being punished and asked to shut down. The opposition is being arrested for holding the government to account. All attempts by this government to suppress our fundamental freedoms by abusing state power will only strengthen our resolve to defeat such dangerous designs,” Times of India quoted him as saying.
(With PTI inputs)