Asserting that there was no urgency to have an elected Congress president, senior leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday said he “can’t see the heavens falling” for the need of a party chief as Sonia Gandhi was still at the helm and should be the one to decide on the leadership issue.
Khurshid, a former Union minister and among the leaders considered close to the Gandhi family, told PTI in an interview that he would not have signed the letter even if he was approached by the group that wrote to Gandhi seeking urgent organisational overhaul, including an active and full-time leadership.
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On Ghulam Nabi Azad, the most vocal among the 23 letter writers, seeking organisational elections to ensure that the Congress does not remain out of power for decades, Khurshid said the senior leader from Jammu and Kashmir had been part of the top echelons of the party for years when there has been no such elections and still the party prospered.
He said probably Azad wanted a change now in what the party has been doing over the years and expressed confidence that the leadership will give a thought to what he is saying as he is a senior leader Khurshid said the leaders who have written to Sonia Gandhi always had access to her and could have approached her rather than writing to her.
“It is very clear that the important persons in this letter do belong to the top echelons of our party and therefore Mrs Gandhi has indicated that it was best that they could have discussed it within the confines of the party,” he said.
Khurshid’s remarks assume significance as they come days after the ‘group of 23’ wrote to Gandhi calling for far-reaching reforms within the party such as having a “full time, active and visible” leadership, devolution of powers to state units and revamping the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in line with the party constitution.
Asked about the suggestions made in the letter, Khurshid said the discussion seems to be about electing a leader and the Congress president has indicated that it can be done at an appropriate time when physically it is possible.
“For people like me, we already have leaders, we have a leader in Mrs Sonia Gandhi, we have a leader in Rahul Gandhi. So for me there is no sense of urgency about electing leaders. Electing a president, yes that will happen when it happens, I can’t see the heavens falling down. What is the sense of urgency that is being expressed, is not clear to me,” he said.
“We don’t have a part-time president, we have a full-time pr