Senior Congress leader and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's son Anil Kumar Shastri on Monday has stated that the Congress would cease to exist if a non-Gandhi took over the party's reins. He further went on to add that Priyanka Gandhi should become the new party chief. With Priyanka Gandhi's rising activity in state politics, Shastri compared Priyanka to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
There's no question of a non Gandhi taking over as Congress President at this stage. The party will cease to exist. Priyanka Gandhi should be elected to lead the party. She is meeting several Congresspersons & getting familiar with ground level realities. Indira Ji did the same.— Anil K Shastri (@anilkshastri) February 23, 2020
There has been a longstanding demand in Congress to bring Priyanka to the forefront of the party. Ahead of the 2019 general elections, she was appointed the party's general secretary and party in-charge for eastern Uttar Pradesh.
After the party's poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi resigned from the party president's post and Sonia Gandhi became the interim president after the position remained vacant for months. It is however speculated that Rahul Gandhi is likely to return as Congress president in April.
Priyanka Gandhi has been stepping up her activities in Uttar Pradesh to revive the party and has been showing her visibility in state politics. Reacting on the same, Union Minister Smriti Irani in a media conclave had said that Priyanka Gandhi is only active in her own party because she is working to make space for herself in the party.
Priyanka who was officially inducted into the Congress in January last year and put in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh had extensively canvassed in the general elections but could not prevent the dismal performance of the party. Earlier this month, her campaign in the Delhi assembly elections also failed to change the Congress’ fortune where it drew a blank for the second successive time and saw its vote share plunge.