‘Wrong to question Sonia Gandhi’s unifying leadership’: Ashwani Kumar

Updated on Aug 23, 2020 07:02 PM IST

Ashwani Kuma also targeted the leaders who have signed the letter, saying some Congress leaders have harmed the party repeatedly.

File photo of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.(PTI)
File photo of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.(PTI)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi

Senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar has questioned the timing of a letter which has sought a complete overhaul of the organisation, saying the need of the hour is to stay united.

“This is not the time for an electoral exercise which is potentially divisive. At this point of time and considering the extraordinary situation in the country, the need of the hour is to close ranks,” Kumar said.

“Issues required to be addressed can be addressed under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi who has held the party together through difficult times. Only a year ago, party persons literally begged Sonia Gandhi to lead the party and she agreed as a call of duty. It is wrong to question her unifying leadership at this stage. I am of the view that under the present extraordinary circumstances political adventurism cannot be the way forward,” he further said in the statement.

Kumar, who served as the Union law minister during Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, said that the Congress will function best on the basis of broad political consensus “hammered through meaningful and wide consultations amongst the leadership.” “Sonia Gandhi’s judgement in the accommodation of competing claims to recognition has generally served the party well.”

He also targeted the leaders who have signed the letter, saying “there are some who have harmed the party repeatedly even after receiving more than their just dues”.

Kumar’s statement comes at a time when there is a churn in the Congress over the leadership issue. A group of party leaders had written to Sonia Gandhi seeking overhaul of the party. Responding to their letter, Gandhi said that all of them should get together and find a new chief as she does not want to carry out the responsibilities any further, people familiar with the development said.

In her response, Gandhi has told them that she was not interested in leading the party once again when the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on August 10 requested her to assume the reins of the organisation again, a senior functionary said on condition of anonymity.

Kumar’s remarks assume significance as they come just ahead of the meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision making body, on Monday, according to news agency ANI.

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