On Thursday, in an interview to News Agency PTI, Congress leader Ashwani Kumar stated that Rahul Gandhi needed to resume his post as the Congress President and sweep-in to save the Congress party from 'future uncertainty'. The former Law Minister stated that Rahul 'owed' this to the party. He also claimed that within the ranks of the Congress, there was a 'unanimous' decision for the Gandhi scion to succeed Sonia Gandhi, the present interim President of the party.
"Given the ground realities of politics in the country today, I think Rahul Gandhi owes it to the party to resume leadership, inspire party persons and win the trust of the nation in the better tradition of the public. We do not have the luxury of time. In these days of shifting political loyalties people will not wait endlessly for us to get our house in order," said Ashwani Kumar to PTI.
After Congress' abysmal performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Wayanad MP had tendered his resignation as the President of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), stating in a four-page letter, that he took this step to hold "accountability for the losses suffered by the Congress" under his leadership. He also refused to suggest a nominee for the post. Soon after, Sonia Gandhi reigned in the chaos, assuming the post as an 'interim' Congress President.
"We know that when Rahul Gandhi resigned and a process was initiated to identify other leaders, not a single name emerged as an alternative. Under these circumstances, there is ample justification for insisting that Rahul Gandhi accepts the responsibility to lead the Congress," Kumar told PTI. He also backed the Gandhi scion stating that his 'political priorities' were anchored in 'idealism'.
The former Rajya Sabha MP also stated that as long as the Gandhis choose to remain "active" in the Congress, the centrality of their role "is a given". Kumar vehemently shut down the idea of the leadership of a political party following a 'dynastic succession' stating that the Gandhi family had already proven their worth and been 'baptized by fire.'
"The charge of dynastic politics is totally wrong, considering that the leadership of the Gandhis has been tested in the public arena in tough electoral battles. The Gandhis have been baptized by fire so to say," he said.
Ashwani Kumar also remarked that he was of the belief that 'elections' were by no means a guarantee of the party's 'rejuvenation' remarking that organizational elections were not needed to settle the leadership issue since there was a 'unanimous view' is that Rahul Gandhi should take over the Congress.
"I doubt very much whether, through an election by itself, we can strengthen the party's organization given the present constitution of the electoral college. Elections are no guarantee of the party's rejuvenation. They tend to be divisive and are known to leave bitterness behind," Kumar said.