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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Sonia rubbishes premiership talk

She hinted at more responsibilities for Rahul following her resounding victory.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 21:58 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday frowned upon suggestions by a group of party MPs that she take over as Prime Minister following her resounding victory in Rae Bareli Lok Sabha bypoll saying such talks were "not proper" but hinted that her son Rahul might be given more responsibilities. 

"This talk is not proper. There should not be such talks in the party," Gandhi told reporters at her residence after the results of assembly polls in five states and Union territory and Rae Bareli.

Asked whether Rahul, who was her campaign manager in Rae Bareli, would be given more responsibilities, she said, "This can happen." 

Gandhi's disapproval of the suggestion made by 25 Congress MPs, including former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, came close on the heels of the party itself dismissing it as a move by an individual with no backing from the AICC or the high command.

The group of MPs also wanted Rahul to lead the Congress. Asked whether she would become the National Advisory Council Chairperson again, Gandhi replied "I cannot say".

She said Congress would be forming government in Assam, where it has emerged as the single largest party, and the Democratic Progressive Alliance has performed well in Tamil Nadu.

However, she said she was disappointed by the poll outcome in West Bengal and Kerala where the Left emerged victors.

Striking a philosophical note, Gandhi said politics is marked by victories at times and defeats on other occasions. 

Earlier, Ajit Jogi, Jivabhai Patel and 23 other Congress MPs said in a joint letter to the Congress President that "... This is not the first time that the people have given you the mandate to lead them. They have done so repeatedly. Madam, we most respectfully beg you to respect the mandate and become our Prime Minister".

The MPs, most of whom belong to scheduled castes, tribes and OBCs, termed Gandhi's Rae Bareli victory as "a categorical assertion of the hopes and aspirations of the entire nation."

They also demanded that Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi be given responsibility of the organisation.

"We urge you, therefore, to give the responsibility of the organisation to Rahulji, who should not only lead Uttar Pradesh but the entire Congress party," they said.

First Published: May 11, 2006 20:09 IST