An emotional plea by a young leader that the Congress Party and the country need Rahul Gandhi in the prevailing circumstances drew huge applause from almost the entire audience, including Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, at an event to celebrate Rajiv Gandhi's 75th birth anniversary.
Punjab MLA and former Youth Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, while listing the achievements of Rajiv Gandhi, took the audience by surprise by pitching for Rahul Gandhi to be the party's guiding light.
Rahul Gandhi had quit as party chief after the Lok Sabha poll debacle.
"Rahulji may not like it, but I want to say this here that the party wants Rahul Gandhi and the country also wants Rahul Gandhi," he said in an emotional appeal.
The remarks drew loud cheers from the packed K D Jadhav indoor hall with party chief Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and a host of top Congress leaders enthusiastically clapping at the appeal.
The Congress legislator from Punjab was among the four young speakers who listed Rajiv Gandhi's achievements as prime minister.
The other speakers were Gaurav Gogoi, Meenakshi Natarajan and Krishna Byre Gowda.
The Punjab leader also said that Rajiv Gandhi had signed an accord with the then Akali Dal president Harchand Singh Longowal to help bring peace in Punjab while rising above party politics.
He said Rajiv Gandhi worked in the interest of the nation, not for politics.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)