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Rahul chants disrupt Sonia’s speech at AICC meet

It is not every day that Congress workers disrupt party chief Sonia Gandhi’s speech. But as supporters chanted ‘Rahul as PM candidate’ on the first day of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meet, she had to stop her address to quell the clamour.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2014 20:56 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s speech being disrupted by over-zealous supporters at a party meeting is not a familiar sight.

On Friday, Sonia had to stop her speech at the AICC session to quell the clamour for Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate for 2014.

“A decision has been taken on Rahul in Thursday’s Congress Working Committee meeting. And that is final,” a firm Sonia said, while some leaders tried to tame the self-styled pro-Rahul enthusiasts.

The party has decided not to project Rahul as the official PM candidate, but announced he will lead the party’s campaign for Lok Sabha elections.

After Sonia’s speech, Rahul himself had to take the microphone and say, “I will make my stand clear in my speech in some hours from now.”

From the beginning of the session, Congress stage managers faced disruptions from a section of the delegates who kept on chanting pro-Rahul slogans.

Before the din, Sonia appealed to the people to be “a little soft” on the Congress. Her observations come against the backdrop of the rise of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party that has routed the Congress in Delhi assembly and threatens to spoil the Congress show in other states in the Lok Sabha elections.

“The country is going through turbulent times as a result of a fast-paced social and economic change,” Sonia said in her speech.

First Published: Jan 17, 2014 14:53 IST