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Congress Crisis: Congress will not survive if the puppet becomes president… Amidst the announcement of the election, the voice raised from within the party

New Delhi: Nothing is going well within the Congress. Amidst the internal turmoil, senior party leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has shown his tough stand. Amid preparations for the election of party president, G-23 leader Chavan said on Sunday that steps would now have to be taken to save the party. He clearly said that if someone tries to ‘backseat driving’ (run from behind) by making him a ‘puppet president’, then Congress will not be able to survive. Actually, the date for the election of the new president of the Congress party has been fixed. Voting for the new party president will be held on October 17. Counting will take place on 19 October. Earlier, a virtual meeting of the Congress Working Committee was held. Interim President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Priyanka Gandhi along with party MP Rahul Gandhi also attended.

If Rahul Gandhi has said that he and his family will not have a president, why is he not believed? If they are not made then another alternative arrangement will have to be made. Elections should be held and then someone will become the president.

Prithviraj Chavan

That’s why the party loses…
Chavan said, “According to the Congress constitution, elections should be held on all posts. Elections were held for the Congress Working Committee and other posts. Organization elections were held for the last time 24 years ago during the time of Sitaram Kesari. Now all the posts are headed by the people nominated by the Speaker. No one speaks against the one who nominates the Speaker. Elected people give right advice to the Speaker. Designated people don’t do that. That’s why the party loses.

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There should be elections for all the posts
Chavan said elections should be held for all posts, including the Congress Working Committee (CWC). Chavan also says that if Rahul Gandhi does not want to become the President, then alternative arrangements should be made and a new Congress President should be elected through elections. On the resignation of Ghulam Nabi Azad, he said, “His resignation is unfortunate… Elections are due in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. In J&K a very junior and outsider (Tariq Hameed Karra) was made the head of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) and Azad Saheb was made a member. What was the reason for this? Was it discussed?’

G-23 leaders list

List of G23 leaders

‘There was no need to humiliate Azad Sahab’
Chavan, who was a member of Congress’ G23, said, “There was no need to humiliate Azad Sahab. There was no need to say that he has no value. According to him, ‘On one hand Sonia Gandhi tried to include leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma in the election campaign. He was also given some responsibility. The people at the bottom, whom Azad Saheb called ‘Kotries’, did not even listen to Sonia ji.’

On the issues raised by Azad in his resignation letter, he said, “There are some personal allegations in Azad’s resignation letter, I will not say anything on them. The issues raised in the earlier letter (of August, 2020) are valid. We stand by that even today.

‘Alternative arrangements will have to be made apart from Rahul Gandhi’

“An important issue is that if Rahul Gandhi has said that he and his family will not have a president, why is he not believed? If they are not made then another alternative arrangement will have to be made. Elections should be held and then someone will become the president. Azad had on Friday resigned from the party’s primary membership and all posts, alleging that the Congress leadership was cheating in the name of internal elections. He had also accused Rahul Gandhi of ‘immature and childish’ behaviour. The Congress had hit back at Azad, accusing him of betraying the party and said that his ‘Dean Modi-may’ has become.

What did Chavan say on the role of G23?

Asked to what extent the issues raised by G23 in its letter were resolved, Chavan said, “Some small steps have been taken. We had asked for contemplation because we lost two Lok Sabha elections, lost about 40 assembly elections. Was there any meditation camp on this? If we do not meditate, it will continue like this. Chavan referred to the defeat of the Congress in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the performance of the Congress in the assembly elections in various states held in the last eight years. This was also mentioned by Azad in his resignation letter.

‘Now is not the time to talk, it’s time to act’
The former Chief Minister of Maharashtra emphasized on this point, ‘We stand by every point of what we said in the letter. There are many things in what Ghulam Nabi wrote. Now the time for talk is over, now is the time for taking action. If steps are not taken, it will be difficult to save the party. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and 21 other Congress leaders had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi after meeting in August, 2020. In this, he had made many demands to strengthen the party again, in which the demand for organization elections and active leadership was prominent. His letter was seen as a challenge to the Congress leadership. Many leaders of this group like Azad, Kapil Sibal, Jitin Prasad have left the Congress and some leaders like Veerappa Moily have distanced themselves from this group.

‘Whoever wants to fill the form will come out’
On the discussion related to the names of Ashok Gehlot and some other leaders for the post of Congress President, Chavan asked, will the name be decided before the election, then the election date will be told? Chavan said, ‘You decide the date of the election, whoever has to fill the form, he will come out. Why are you causing the reverse process? You will confirm the name in advance and then conduct elections, does this ever happen? Get an election done, whoever has to fight, he will fight.


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