Congress Clamps Virtual Gag Order on Partymen Over Succession Issue

Congress Clamps Virtual Gag Order on Partymen Over Succession Issue

File Photo: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi seen here with mother and Party President Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi:

With some senior leaders opposing Rahul Gandhi's elevation, Congress today put a virtual gag order on partymen asking them not to air their views outside party fora on the likely successor to party chief Sonia Gandhi.
      
"Change is party of life....Obviously any organisation changes and evolves...If anyone wants to voice an opinion or idea, he should ideally do it in party fora. I request everyone that they should speak within the party fora ", party spokesman Ajoy Kumar told reporters in New Delhi.
      
Mr Kumar said any change could be done only after deliberations on the issue by Sonia Gandhi and the party working committee . It will be carried out under the well laid down procedure under the party constitution.
      
"Both Sonia and Rahul are our leaders. Both have led the party in difficult situations. Changes happen in any organisation. Whenever the time for organisational change will come, it will be done under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and after consultations in the Working Committee".
      
Deputy Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh, AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni as also party spokesman Sandeep Dikshit, son of former Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, have made a strong pitch for continuance of Mrs Gandhi as the party chief.
     
"You cannot just make a generational change with a knife and cut them through. You have to gain experience by individually meeting people across the country and maintain people-to-people contact," Amarinder Singh had said.
     
The former Punjab Chief Minister has insisted that people should gain experience and move upwards as "raw people cannot move upwards".
     
Captain Amarinder's known detractor and Punjab PCC Chief Pratap Singh Bajwa has accused him of attempting to scuttle party presidentship for Rahul Gandhi, who is currently the party Vice
President.
      
Sandeep Dikshit had recently made it clear that Sonia Gandhi is the "leader" for "99 per cent of" partymen and she is needed at the helm at this time more than ever in the past.
     
His refrain has been that "Sonia Gandhi can transfer presidentship of the party to anyone, bequeath the presidentship to anyone she wants, but she cannot bequeath her leadership to anybody she wants".
     
Sonia Gandhi has created a record by being at the helm of Congress for 17 long years.
     
Rahul Gandhi, who is on a sabbattical for the past one-and-a- half months, will be addressing a farmer's rally being organised by the party at the historic Ramlila Maidan on April 19 on the eve of the second phase of Budget session of Parliament.
     
This was stated by senior leader AK Antony when asked whether Rahul Gandhi would be present at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh, the
birthplace of BR Ambedkar, to celebrate his birth anniversary tomorrow.
     
"Don't worry about him. He will be there on the 19th", Mr Antony said when a questioner said that there was much concern over the absence of Rahul Gandhi for long.

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