Speaking to TOI, a senior G-23 member said what Sonia said did not mean anything and that the Nehru-Gandhi would keep a stranglehold on the Congress party.
“What you are seeing is a reverse of the (former prime minister) Manmohan Singh model when UPA was in power. In those 10 years, while Manmohan Singh ji had the responsibility, Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi wielded the authority over the party and the government. Now, Mrs Gandhi has the responsibility while her kids (Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) are wielding the authority,” the leader said, adding, “and the kids are messing it all up”.
The leader further said Sonia and her two children want to keep full control over the party and that the organisational election would be postponed again on some pretext. Even if it is held, there was no hope of a true organisational election, the leader added.
The senior leader was reacting to Sonia Gandhi’s remarks in which she talked about the “schedule for full-fledged organisational elections” and said she is “a full-time and hands-on” chief.
In what is seen as a direct rebuttal to what senior leaders like Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad and P Chidambaram have been raising about the “sorry state of affairs” in the party, Sonia said: “I am, if you will allow me to say so, a full-time and hands on Congress president.”
Sonia was seen as directing her remarks at the G-23 who have been demanding a transparent, hands-on, full-time and accessible party president and an overhaul of the party.
In her opening remarks, she said, “Finally, the matter of organisational elections. The entire organisation wants a revival of the Congress. But this requires unity and keeping the party’s interests paramount. Above all, it requires self-control and discipline. I am acutely conscious of the fact that I have been interim Congress president ever since the CWC asked me to return in this capacity in 2019.”
Opening remarks of Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi at the CWC meeting:- https://t.co/74K4qjGkZS
— Congress (@INCIndia) 1634363401000
She said, “We had thereafter, you may recall, finalised a roadmap for electing a regular president by June 30, 2021. But the second wave of Covid-19 overtook the country and this deadline was extended indefinitely by the CWC in its meeting held on May 10, 2021. Today is the occasion for bringing clarity once and for all. A schedule for full-fledged organisational elections is before you. General secretary, organisation, (KK) Venugopal will brief you on the entire process later.”
Sonia also said: “In the last two years, a large number of our colleagues, particularly the younger ones have taken on leadership roles in taking party policies and programmes to the people – whether it be the agitation of farmers, provision of relief during the pandemic, highlighting issues of concern to youth and women, atrocities on dalits, adivasis and minorities, price rise, and the destruction of the public sector.”
The interim Congress president further said, “Never have we let issues of public importance and concern go unaddressed. You are aware that I have been taking them up with the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) as have Manmohan Singh and Rahul. I have been interacting with like-minded political parties regularly. We have issued joint statements on national issues and coordinated our strategy in Parliament as well.”
Sonia has also hinted that she was accessible and that the internal affairs of the Congress should be raised within the party. “I have always appreciated frankness. There is no need to speak to me through the media. So let us all have a free and honest discussion. But what should get communicated outside the four walls of this room is the collective decision of the CWC.”