Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has welcomed Sonia Gandhi's appointment as interim president of the Congress as the "best decision in the current circumstances". He said her "experience and understanding" will help guide the party, which suffered a big setback in the national election this year.
"Happy to see Smt. Sonia Gandhi ji back in the saddle. It was the best decision in the current circumstances. Her experience and understanding will help guide Congress. I wish her and the party all the best," Mr Singh tweeted.
Happy to see Smt. Sonia Gandhi ji back in the saddle. It was the best decision in the current circumstances. Her experience and understanding will help guide @INCIndia. I wish her and the party all the best. pic.twitter.com/IathmJDkBq— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) August 10, 2019
Mrs Gandhi was on Saturday appointed interim president of the Congress after a day-long meeting of the party's top decision-making body. Her son Rahul Gandhi declined to heed to requests by some party leaders to take back his resignation.
Patiala MP Preneet Kaur also congratulated Mrs Gandhi. "Great news! Smt Sonia Gandhi appointed Congress President again. Look forward with much hope and determination towards this decision. Your valuable experience will help us in steering the party," Ms Kaur tweeted.
Great news! Smt Sonia Gandhi appointed @INCIndia President again. Look forward with much hope and determination towards this decision. Your valuable experience will help us in steering the party. pic.twitter.com/lp8izVOVTw— Preneet Kaur (@preneet_kaur) August 10, 2019
Congress MP Manish Tiwari said Mrs Gandhi has the "right experience" to guide the party. "Overseeing the affairs of Congress since several years, Smt. Sonia Gandhi has the right experience to guide the party in the present circumstances. Welcoming Congress Working Committee's decision to pass on the reins to her by nominating her as the interim President," Mr Tewari tweeted.
Mrs Gandhi was party president for 19 years and during this period, the Congress headed two back-to-back governments at the centre. Last month, when asked if she was open to taking over as temporary party chief, she was non-committal. Battling health problems, she had significantly reduced her public engagements and she has hardly campaigned during recent elections.
Her return as interim chief comes ahead of a string of state elections later this year. There has been criticism that the party's inability to sort out the leadership issue has drawn attention away from these key elections - the first since the Lok Sabha elections.
It has also upset the leaders and workers and an exodus is likely if the matter was not sorted, senior party leader Shashi Tharoor has warned.
The Congress had been decimated in the Lok Sabha elections, winning only 52 seats - a marginal increase over its score of 44 in the 2014 election. Accentuating the defeat, Rahul Gandhi lost his traditional family turf Amethi to the BJP's Smriti Irani.
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