Some 100 Congress leaders, including MPs, have written to Sonia Gandhi asking for a change in the political leadership and transparent elections in the party, suspended leader Sanjay Jha tweeted today.
Sanjay Jha was sacked as spokesperson of the Congress last month after he publicly criticised the party after Sachin Pilot’s revolt.
“It is estimated that around 100 Congress leaders (including MPs), distressed at the state of affairs within the party, have written a letter to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, asking for change in political leadership and transparent elections in CWC. Watch this space,” Sanjay Jha tweeted this morning.
The letter, not confirmed by any other source so far, comes a week after the Congress announced a truce with Sachin Pilot, who met with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and was assured that his grievances against the Rajasthan Congress leadership would be addressed.
Sonia Gandhi took over as interim Congress president after her son Rahul Gandhi quit the post last year, owning responsibility for the party’s national election debacle.
Her one-year term was to end on August 10 but the party said she would continue till a “proper procedure” was implemented in the “not too distant future” to elect a party chief.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, during an online media briefing, said it was true that Sonia Gandhi’s tenure as interim chief comes to an end on August 10, one year after she assumed the post, but it did not mean that the seat automatically falls vacant that day.
“Sonia Gandhi is the president, she will continue till such time as a proper procedure is implemented and it will be implemented in the not too distant future,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, confirming that her tenure did come to an end on August 10.
In recent weeks, several Congress leaders have been vocal about the need for elections, which have usually been a mere formality for a party that has mostly been led by members of the Nehru-Gandhi family in its 135-year history. The call for change reflects churnings within the party with a clear distinction between the veterans, and the “younger generation” seen to champion Rahul Gandhi’s leadership.
The leadership of the Gandhis came into question within the party after Jyotiraditya Scindia’s crossover to the BJP, which brought the Congress’s Madhya Pradesh government down, and the Sachin Pilot rebellion. Though the Gandhis have lidded the Rajasthan revolt for now, many believe it is temporary.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor recently said the Congress must expedite the process of finding a full-term president “to arrest the growing public perception that the party is adrift and rudderless”.
He also said in an interview to PTI that he certainly believed Rahul Gandhi had 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.
“I certainly believe we should be clear about our leadership going forward. I welcomed Sonia ji’s appointment as interim president last year, but I do believe it’s unfair to her to expect her to carry this burden indefinitely,” Mr Tharoor told PTI in an interview.
“We also need to arrest the growing public perception, fuelled by a dismissive media, that the Congress is adrift and rudderless, incapable of taking up the challenge of a credible national Opposition,” the former Union minister said.