The new Congress president should be appointed through consensus and not election. This would help to bind the party and Rahul Gandhi is certainly up to it, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Sunday.
He said it was up to Sonia Gandhi whether she would continue as party chief for another term. The party will be happy if she decides so.
Amarinder favoured projection of regional leaders in Congress and making them the party’s face in each state ahead of Assembly elections.
“Elections are always bitter and consensus keeps the party together. There should be a consensus on the party president. You don’t have any bad blood. It is all happening in a happy way,” he told PTI.
The organisational election process within the Congress party is underway and the new chief has to be elected by October 15.
On Sonia Gandhi he said, “She has worked very hard. If she wants to stay, I think the party will be too happy. If she wants to go, I think Rahul is in a position to take over. I have been dealing with him for two to three years, I find that he is certainly up to it,” he said.
He, however, said his impression was she (Sonia) felt she had done enough.
She has not had time off for the past 20 years, ever since she took over as the party chief in 2017, Amarinder said.
Asked whether he prefers someone other that a member of the Gandhi family to lead the party, he said the Congress has been traditionally headed by a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family. “I am going to vote for Rahul. Who else do we have?” he said.
Asked what is holding Rahul back from taking over, the Punjab leader said he was going through the process. “I think one must not write off Rahul. People are trying to write him off. They are trying to fob him off, calling him childish names. That is unnecessary. I think he is very perceptive and very decisive.