'Heavens not falling': Salman Khurshid on wait for election of new Congress chief

Daijiworld Media Network - New Delhi

New Delhi, Aug 30: Referring to the recent chaos which took place for the selection of Congress party president senior leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday stated that he 'can't see the heavens falling' for the need of a party chief, as Sonia Gandhi was still at the helm and should be the one to decide on the leadership issue.

Khurshid, a former Union minister and among the leaders considered to be a close aide of the Gandhi family, in an interview with PTI maintained that he would not have signed the letter if he was approached by the group that wrote to Gandhi seeking urgent organisational overhaul, including an active and full-time leadership.

On Ghulam Nabi Azad, the most vocal among the 23 letter writers, seeking organisational elections to ensure that the Congress does not remain out of power for decades, Khurshid said the senior leader from Jammu and Kashmir had been part of the top echelons of the party for years when there have been no such elections and still the party prospered.

Khurshid further said that Azad may have wanted a change in what the party has been doing over the years and expressed confidence that the leadership will give a thought to what he is saying as he is a senior leader. In a subtle jab, Khurshid said the leaders who have written to Sonia Gandhi always had access to her and could have approached her rather than writing to her.

"It is very clear that the important persons in this letter do belong to the top echelons of our party and therefore Mrs Gandhi has indicated that it was best that they could have discussed it within the confines of the party," he said.

Khurshid's remarks assume significance as they come days after the "group of 23" wrote to Gandhi calling for far-reaching reforms within the party such as having a "full time, active and visible" leadership, devolution of powers to state units and revamping the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in line with the party constitution.

Speaking about the suggestions made in the letter, senior leader Khurshid stated that the discussion seems to be about electing a leader and the Congress president has indicated that it can be done at an appropriate time when physically it is possible.

"For people like me, we already have leaders, we have a leader in Mrs Sonia Gandhi, we have a leader in Rahul Gandhi. So for me, there is no sense of urgency about electing leaders. Electing a president, yes that will happen when it happens, I can't see the heavens falling down. What is the sense of urgency that is being expressed, is not clear to me," he said.

"We don't have a part-time president, we have a full-time president but the full-time president is an interim president and no ordinary person as an interim president as she is the longest-serving president. We must just trust and leave it to the longest-serving president to take steps when she thinks it is appropriate," he added.

Asked about the future of the party after the recent fiasco Khurshid said, "The pens are out, so what is the problem. Of course, the words written with pens can hurt and they did, but they don't draw blood...it's only ink, it's something we can live with and I am sure that the ink will fade in due course."

Khurshid said no one had approached him for signing the letter and even if anyone had done so, he would not have signed because he does not agree with the letter.

"There is nothing about that letter that gives an opportunity for me to express and say that I may want to say...We have always spoken directly with the leadership, so I don't know what changed because of which people are not speaking directly. Nothing has changed for me and therefore, I don't see the urge for writing the letter," he said.

The senior Congress leader maintained that instead of leaders continuously urging Rahul Gandhi to come back as party chief, they must leave the decision to him.

"Surely he understands the implications of that letter more than I do, he will do what he thinks is the best to do," he said when asked if it was now imperative for Rahul Gandhi to return as party chief to set the house in order.

Earlier in the week, the CWC had urged Sonia Gandhi to continue as its interim chief till an AICC session could be convened and authorised her to effect necessary organisational changes to deal with the challenges facing the party.

The CWC also resolved that inner-party issues cannot be deliberated through the media or in public foram and all such issues must be raised within the party "in the interest of propriety and discipline".


With PTI inputs



Comment on this article

  • Bhavya Baliga, Udupi

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    Finally it will be 'The Man' Ahmed Patel, the trusted manipulator with all the passwords.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwin, Mangalore

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    Well written by 23 members have not understood the letter applicable to them. The Cong president is ready to leave post voluntarily and children. These 23 members and their children and like-minded people in their party and also in other party must quit their position to make way others to serve.in other parties ruling or opposition who have children also are in same line quit their position and others can join in the main stream. The congress produce leaders for other party's. It must develop and strengthen root level workers. Those who criticize are enjoying position all time. So send them for retirement

    DisAgree [2] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • j.anata, Mangaluru / Bengaluru

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    I've started feeling sorry and pity on the old CONgress leaders, they're up against a high wall with no escape

    DisAgree [8] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • AM, Mangalore

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    J.anantha- I pity, LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi etc. They are the pillars of BJP and they sow the seed and today PM reaping the fruit.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • j.anata, Mangaluru / Bengaluru

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    I tend to disagree with you. BJP has given these Gentlemen adequate posts, respect and today in their Prime age of 90 plus, they're the pillars of staunch support and Marg Darshaks to party. They need assistance to walk now, that's situation just like DG and Gehlot.
    LK Advani has been the Deputy PM too and Joshi has been a successful Party President and senior Cabinet Minister too. But senior leaders in CONgress are left to rot.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse


Title : 'Heavens not falling': Salman Khurshid on wait for election of new Congress chief


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