'Who Else Do We Have?': Amarinder Singh On Picking Next Congress Chief

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'Who Else Do We Have?': Amarinder Singh On Picking Next Congress Chief

Sonia Gandhi has not had time off for the last 20 years, Captain Amarinder Singh said.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. New Congress chief should be appointed through consensus: Amarinder
  2. Says Congress traditionally headed by member of Nehru-Gandhi family.
  3. Rahul Gandhi ready to lead but final call with Sonia Gandhi: Amarinder
The new Congress president should be appointed through consensus and not election as it helps to bind the party and Rahul Gandhi is certainly up to it, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said today.

He also said that it was up to Sonia Gandhi whether she will continue as party chief for another term and the party will be happy if she decides so.

Captain Amarinder, however, favoured projection of regional leaders in Congress and making them the party's face in each state ahead of assembly elections.

"Elections are always bitter and consensus keeps the party together. There should be a consensus on the party president.

"You don't have any bad blood. It is all happening in a happy way," he told PTI in an interview.
The organisational election process within the Congress party is underway and the new party chief has to be elected by October 15.

On Sonia Gandhi, he said it will be entirely her call on whether to continue for another term till 2019.

"She has worked very hard. If she wants to stay, I think the party will be too happy. If she wants to go, I think Rahul is in a position to take over... . As party Vice President, I have been dealing with him for 2-3 years, I find that he is certainly up to it," he said.

He, however, said his impression is that she feels she has done enough.

She has not had time off for the last 20 years, which is a long time, ever since she took over as party chief in 2017, Captain Amarinder said.

Asked whether he prefers someone other that a member of the Gandhi family to lead the party, he said traditionally the Congress has been headed by a member of the Nehru Gandhi family.

"I am going to vote for Rahul. Who else do we have," he said. 

Asked what is holding Rahul Gandhi back from taking over, the Punjab leader said he is already going through the process. 

"I think one must not write off Rahul. People are trying to write him off. They are trying to fob him off, calling him childish names. That is unnecessary. I think he is very perceptive and very decisive," he said.

On the current state of affairs in the Congress, which has lost one election after another except Punjab, the state chief minister said he is not worried about the situation as the country moved in a cycle, which will soon reverse.

"Today there may be an upswing for BJP, but who knows two years hence," he said.

He also cited Arvind Kejriwal's example, whose party was rejected by voters in the civic polls in Delhi.

"You see Mr Kejriwal being pushed out. Because they feel he has not delivered. So delivery is important," he said. 

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