Day-long deliberations conclude on a note of conciliation with Sonia saying she holds ‘no ill-will’ towards anyone in the party, and Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal retracting strong words uttered earlier in the day.
NEW DELHI – Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting ended Monday without much-awaited decision on a new president. That means Sonia Gandhi will continue to be the interim president of Congress Party for now. The meeting started with Sonia Gandhi offering to quit her post. She also told the CWC members to start the process to choose a new president. But the party failed to elect a new leader and in the end, it was decided that Sonia Gandhi will continue on her post till the Congress elects new president within the next six months.
According to NDTV, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh moved a resolution asking Sonia Gandhi to continue. Several Congress leaders suggested in the meeting that if Sonia Gandhi did not want to continue, Rahul Gandhi should return to the post that he had quit last year over Congress’s national election defeat.
The CWC members decided to form a committee to help Sonia Gandhi in day-to-day functioning of the organisation. They also decided to call a session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) within six months where future course of action will be decided.
During the day-long meeting that lasted for seven hours, the party leadership went through a full round of accusations, threat and clarifications. It was reported that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused 23 party leaders, who had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi seeking structural reorganisation within the party, of colluding with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Some party veterans took strong exception to Rahul Gandhi’s alleged remark with Ghulam Nabi Azad, one of the signatories to the letter, saying he would quit if charges against him are proven right. Kapil Sibal was another leader who reacted in anger, posting a tweet criticising Rahul Gandhi’s ‘comment’.
However, hours later, both Azad and Sibal made a u-turn and said Rahul Gandhi never made a remark linking the letter to the BJP.
Azad clarified that Rahul Gandhi didn’t say that the letter in question was written at the behest of the BJP, neither in the CWC meeting or outside. Sibal, too, withdrew his angry tweets saying he was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that the former party chief had never made the “colluding with BJP” remark attributed to him.
In his new tweet, Sibal said, “Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet.”
Sonia Gandhi reportedly said in her closing remarks that she held “no ill-will” towards anyone in the party, a remark intended at the dissent-letter writers. “I am hurt but they are my colleagues, bygones are bygones, let us work together,” she said, ending the CWC meeting on a note of conciliation.