It appears that the era of Sonia Gandhi in Congress is coming to an end and Rahul Gandhi will be taking up the presidential responsibilities very soon. Sonia Gandhi, battling cancer is unable to discharge the duties as most of the time, she is confined to her residence, according to reports.
In a significant development, Congress Working Committee (CWC) members on Monday unanimously urged party Vice President Rahul Gandhi to take over as Congress chief at a meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body in New Delhi.
“Number of party members expressed strong sentiments that Rahul Gandhi must take over the presidentship of the party,” Congress leader A.K. Antony told reporters.
“It is high time that Congress must mobilise all its forces to fight against the dictatorial rule of the (Narendra) Modi government,” the former Defence Minister added.
Antony also said that it was for the first time that this sentiment was strongly and unanimously expressed in the CWC meeting. “Final decision has to be that of the party President,” he added.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi was not present at the meeting due to illness.
Replying to questions what Rahul Gandhi’s response was, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “Congress VP (Vice President) was present in CWC meeting, he said whatever party and committee will decide, he would be ready to take up any challenge.
“Rahul Gandhiji said he wants to fight for idea of India and whatever party workers decide he will be ready to take up that role.”
There have been demands in the party that Rahul Gandhi should take over the reigns of the party from his mother Sonia Gandhi, who is the longest serving president of the party.
She became party chief in 1998.
Sonia’s last major public engagement was a road show in Varanasi three months back.
She had suddenly taken ill during the road show in Varanasi on August 2 and had to return to the national capital.
She was later admitted to a private hospital in Delhi following dehydration and fever. She also underwent treatment for a shoulder injury.
After falling ill at Varanasi, Gandhi’s first major official interaction was in October, when she met visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Later in the month, she also met visiting Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi at her residence.