Chandigarh/New Delhi, August 24 (Punjab Khabarnama)

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday welcomed the unanimous resolution passed by the Congress Working Committee (CWC), asking Sonia Gandhi to continue as party president till the next AICC session and authorising her to take whatever decisions needed, including necessary organisational changes that she may deem appropriate, to tackle any challenge/situation.

Captain Amarinder, however, agreed with Rahul Gandhi that Sonia’s continuation at the helm of the Congress could not be open ended. Speaking during the Video Conference meet of the CWC, he also endorsed Rahul’s suggested that some sort of structure needs to be put in place to assist the Congress President in handling the party’s affairs and functioning.

The Chief Minister further said he was in agreement with senior party leader P Chidambaram that the next AICC session should be convened at the earliest, possibly within the next six months, to elect the new president. Since a regular session was precluded by the Covid pandemic, it could be held virtually, he further said, backing Chidambaram’s suggestion on the issue.

The Chief Minister also said he was in full agreement with the CWC resolution stressing the need for discussing and addressing intra-party differences within the party and not in the media or on public forum.

“There are ways to deal with issues,” he had said earlier, at the start of the meeting, in reference to the content and the leakage of the letter by a group of Congress leaders.

“This is not done. The BJP is after us (the Congress) and then, in the middle of it, we find our own people striking a dissenting note,” said Captain Amarinder, speaking immediately after Rahul’s intervention questioning the timing of the letter.

The Chief Minister had  earlier also urged Sonia Gandhi to continue to lead the party and hand over the baton to Rahul Gandhi once she decides to finally step down.

Terming as ‘shameful and unacceptable’ the public dissent by a group of Congress leaders in the midst of the continuing BJP onslaught against the party, he said he agreed with other speakers on the need for raising such an issue at this critical time. He pointed out that Sonia had always been accessible, and there was no need to pen down such a dissenting letter and then putting it in public domain.

While he said that all the leaders who had signed the letter were friends of the rest in the party and he hoped they would continue to do so, Captain Amarinder made it clear that what their act was not acceptable. 

There is no village in the country without a Congress leader and the binding force for the party is the Gandhis, with Sonia responsible for holding it together for the past two decades, said Captain Amarinder, adding that two of the five generations of Nehru-Gandhi family in the Congress had laid their lives for the country. 

Sonia herself had earlier pointed out that the country was in the midst of major crises, including the Covid and economic problem as well as the China threat. Even at this time, the BJP-led NDA government was indulging in anti-democratic actions such as the farm ordinances, the changes in environmental laws and the new education policy, she said, adding that the Constitution of the country was under threat from the BJP, which was also trying to destabilise duly elected Congress governments.