New Delhi, August 1: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday vetoed a suggestion at a party meet that she assume the leadership role in the party after her brother Rahul, squarely telling her party that she did not want to be dragged into this. Priyanka Gandhi’s move is aimed at firmly spiking an idea that has been supported by several senior Congress leaders over the last few weeks.
A section of the Congress including Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Thiruvananthapuram lawmaker Shashi Tharoor have backed Priyanka Gandhi for the post of party president.
The suggestion came up again this morning at a meeting of Congress general secretaries and in-charge of states to discuss preparations for the birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on August 20.
Priyanka Gandhi’s response came when party in-charge for Jharkhand RPN Singh, in course of the meeting, suggested that she should come forward and assume the leadership role, a Congress functionary familiar with the developments said.
Priyanka Gandhi firmly told him and others present to desist from taking her name as her brother’s replacement. “Don’t drag me into this,” she was quoted as saying by Congress leader.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been in exit mode ever since he announced his decision to resign from the top post to the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body. When someone proposed that sister Priyanka replace him, he had firmly rejected the idea and said that the next president shouldn’t be from the Gandhi family.
But most Congress leaders had assumed that Rahul Gandhi could be persuaded to continue.
It took some time for party leaders to figure that the 49-year-old Congress chief was determined to stick to his decision. Rahul Gandhi helped drive this message home by putting out a four-page farewell note in early July. (Courtesy: HT)