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Rahul hints 'comeback' as Congress chief amid solidarity exercise in party

After several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sonia called a meeting of top leaders of the party in which seven leaders of the disgruntled faction also attended

Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi was also protesting at not being allowed to speak without interruption by the chairman, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Jual Oram

ANI General News
New Delhi [India], December 20 (ANI): Rahul Gandhi indicated his return as Congress president again at an important meeting convened at Sonia Gandhi's residence on Saturday to end the dissatisfaction prevailing within the party.
At the crucial meeting, Sonia appealed to the party leaders as a family. However, if sources close to the dissenting leaders are to be believed then no concrete solution has been found for the dispute and more meetings will be held in the coming days.
After several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sonia called a meeting of top leaders of the party in which seven leaders of the disgruntled faction also attended. A total of 19 leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi were present.
"We are all like a family and everyone has to strengthen the party together," said Sonia. The dissenting leaders also expressed their side to her. According to sources, Sonia told these leaders that she will address their concerns.
According to a top source in the party, Rahul said in the meeting that whatever responsibility the party will give, he will fulfill it. However, when the leaders asked him to assume the responsibility of the president, Rahul responded by saying that it would be better to leave the issue on the electoral process at this time.
Senior Congress leader AK Antony said Rahul should lead the party which was endorsed by other leaders while Vivek Tankha said he himself resigned in solidarity when the Wayanad MP resigned from the post following 2019 disastrous defeat. Tankha said that he has faith in Rahul's leadership.
Rahul said he values all senior leaders as many of them were friends of his father and they are important for the party, the source added.
A senior leader told that the disgruntled leaders present in the meeting expressed confidence in the Congress leadership and said that they have faith in the party leadership's ability to take everyone along and the ideological commitment.
However, sources close to disgruntled leaders claimed that this meeting took place because of them and further meetings will be held to resolve the dispute.
On the other hand, sources also told that in the meeting, Sonia said that we will soon organise a 'Chintan Shivir' (brainstorming session) to plan a strategy to defeat BJP and will tell the public about the failures of the Modi government.
Speaking to the media after the end of the meeting that lasted for about five hours, Prithviraj Chauhan said that the first meeting was held to decide the future of the party, there will be more such meetings like this, and Chintan Shivir like Panchgani or Shimla will be organised.
Pawan Bansal told that all the leaders said that the party needs the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
However, a prominent leader of the disgruntled faction of the Congress said that not all leaders had the same opinion about Rahul Gandhi's return. Organisation General Secretary KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala were also not present in the meeting.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Dec 20 2020 | 7:07 AM IST

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