Cong leader wants Sonia to step down
Senior Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh G Venkataswamy, who demanded the resignation of Sonia Gandhi as party chief, is in for serious trouble with the party high command taking a serious note of his strident criticism of her.delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2011 23:32 IST
Veteran Andhra Congressman and member of the party’s working committee G Venkataswamy is likely to be expelled for his startling, no-holds-barred attack on Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday.
At a press conference, Venkataswamy (82), a Dalit who has served seven terms in Parliament, held Sonia responsible for the growing corruption and the fall in Congress fortunes and called upon her to step down in favour of a leader of Indian origin.
“The party has taken note,’’ said Janardan Dwivedi, head of the party’s media department.
Venkataswamy said the Congress, which has suffered setbacks in recent times, including the rout in the Bihar polls, would not survive if Sonia continued as chairperson. “I demand she should go,” he said.
Popularly known as ‘Kaka’, Venkataswamy, who hails from Telangana and supports the separate state demand, is known to be peeved over the recent moves by the Congress to tie up with Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party, which opposes the Telangana demand. The tie up, however, is imperative to enable the state government to survive if the supporters of Jagan Reddy quit the party.
Sources said Venkataswamy was aware that he was also likely to be dropped anyway from the CWC when it was next reconstituted.
“Victory or defeat is not important. Even Indira Gandhi lost but she never compromised on principles,” he added, claiming the Congress had deviated from its core values.
Even G Vivekanand, Venkataswamy’s son, who now represents the Peddapally Lok Sabha seat held earlier by his father, distanced himself from the remarks. “I stand by the Congress party and the Congress president,’’ he said.