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Sonia Gandhi best as chief now: Manish Tewari

When asked about the talks of Rahul Gandhi’s return to lead the party, Tewari said “why keep second-guessing” on it, as Rahul Gandhi was the one who insisted on quitting as party chief.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 09.57 AM IST
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Sonia Gandhi, who had handed over the party reins to her son Rahul Gandhi in 2017 after leading the party for about 22 years, was persuaded by the CWC last year to return as interim president after Rahul made a messy exit.
New Delhi: Even as sections of the Congress are pushing for the return of Rahul Gandhi as party president, Congress MP Manish Tewari has said Sonia Gandhi’s continuation as the Congress chief “is the best option for the party at this juncture”.

Talking to ET, Tewari said “the overwhelming” view among Congress leaders favoured 73-year-old Gandhi’s continuance at the helm of the party. Sonia Gandhi, who had handed over the party reins to her son Rahul Gandhi in 2017 after leading the party for about 22 years, was persuaded by the CWC last year to return as interim president after Rahul made a messy exit claiming moral responsibility for the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.

Asked what the basis for the “overwhelming view” in favour of Sonia Gandhi was, Tewari said “I am stating what most of my party colleagues feel. I have been with the Congress party for 40 years, since my days with NSUI and Indian Youth Congress. Many of my colleagues since my Youth Congress days are important party leaders in states as well as at the central leadership. During my discussions with them, I have found they held a widelyheld consensus for Soniaji’s continuation as the Congress president at this juncture. That is seen as the best option for the party now.” He added that the leaders overwhelmingly appreciated Sonia Gandhi’s experience and sagacity as their leader.

When asked about the talks of Rahul Gandhi’s return to lead the party, Tewari said “why keep second-guessing” on it, as Rahul Gandhi was the one who insisted on quitting as party chief. “What Rahul Gandhi has done is a matter of great honour. He has resigned as party chief on his own by taking moral responsibility for the party’s defeat, without passing the blame to others. He resigned despite repeated appeal from leaders to continue as party president. Such things rarely happen in Indian politics. So, why keep second-guessing on it (on Rahul’s return)? It (whether he should return) is now a matter now for Rahulji to decide, and also for the leadership to endorse, by letting the organisational procedures to play out.”

Besides being a second-time Lok Sabha member from Punjab and a former Union minister, Tewari is also part of the Congress establishment, has risen through party ranks and has held important organisational posts including that of national president of NSUI and Youth Congress.
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