Sonia Gandhi on Monday asked the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to relieve her as the interim chief of the Congress party as several leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, urged her to continue.
Gandhi made the request at the crucial CWC meeting where the issue of leadership is on agenda. She asked the party members to begin a process of transition to relieve her from the duty by electing a new president. Her letter seeking to step down read out before the party members by KC Venugopal.
Party leader AK Antony maintained that if Sonia Gandhi was unwilling to continue as the party president, Rahul Gandhi must take over.
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The meeting was called after 23 party leaders wrote a letter to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi seeking an overhaul of the organisation. Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prithviraj Chavan, Vivek Tankha and Anand Sharma were among the leaders who wrote the letter to Gandhi.
In her reply to them, Gandhi expressed her wish to discontinue as the president and asked all the leaders to get together to find a new leader.
Several leaders including Venugopal, Antony and Rahul Gandhi criticized the letter by the 23 leaders.
Rahul Gandhi questioned the timing of the letter sent to the party chief at a time when she was unwell. He condemned the letter for being written at a time when the “party is fighting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya and Rajasthan.”
“Weakening the high command is weakening the party. How can my colleagues write such a letter,” Antony told the party members while Punjab chief minister captain Amarinder Singh said he was hurt by the letter.