Azad presses Priyanka to head Cong

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 3/1/2021 12:41:09 PM

NEW DELHI, Feb 27: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had a quiet one-to-one luncheon meeting with senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad early this week, ostensibly to press for the senior leaders accept her brother Rahul Gandhi as the party president to replace their mother and interim president Sonia Gandhi.
Azad, who has now gone to Jammu with the rebel leaders in the Group of 23 agitating for revamp of the Congress to attend a function of the Gandhi Global Foundation he heads, is understood to have told Priyanka that many leaders in his camp are upset with Rahul from the way he has been taking decisions without consultation that are damaging the party in various states.
Priyanka came away from the meeting with a surprise offer from Azad that he could lobby for her with the senior leaders during the 3-day Jammu sojourn if she is willing to take the party's mantle as the new Congress President. Azad told her frankly that the party seniors in his Group of 23 will not accept anyone imposed by Rahul as his nominee.
Azad reportedly pressed Priyanka for the way she is reviving the party in Uttar Pradesh as the in-charge of the state and going from place to place attending the farmers' gathering to send out a message to the rural India that the Congress stands with the farmers agitating for the repeal of the three contentious farm laws.
For Priyanka, the offer from Azad on behalf of the rebels is very embarrassing as she becoming a rebels' candidate will not be acceptable to Sonia and Rahul, particularly when Sonia has told the party leaders in the internal meetings that for her there is only one candidate for the post and that is Rahul Gandhi.
The party is keeping under wraps the dates for the organisational elections since there is still no consensus on acceptance of Rahul as the party president and he has been himself declaring time and again that he would not like to hold the post of the president that he gave up in 2019 after the party's crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections as he felt he was responsible for the defeat.



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