No rift between Sonia and Rahul, says Congress

Chief of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi pays tribute at her husband Rajiv Gandhi's memorial as her son and a lawmaker Rahul Gandhi watches on the 21st anniversary of the former Prime Minister's death in New DelhiNEW DELHI: A day after senior leader Kamal Nath said the Congress was falling in confusion between the two power centres of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, the party on Thursday dismissed any rift between the two, insisting that both were running the party in a “cohesive” manner.

“Various leaders are expressing personal opinions. As far as us Congress men and the rank and file is concerned, we are extremely happy about the cohesive manner in which the Congress president and vice-president are functioning,” said party spokesperson Rajiv Gowda.

Amid controversy over Rahul’s leave of absence to reflect on recent electoral drubbings and the future course of the party, Nath, a nine-time Lok Sabha MP, on Wednesday said the Congress cannot have two decision-making points.

“When I go to Sonia with a problem, she says please go to Rahul. When I go to Rahul, he says the Congress president will resolve the issue.”

Nath, along with Digvijaya Singh, pitched for immediate appointment of Rahul as the Congress president.

Both were of the view that the time has come for Rahul to be handed full responsibility of the party. Singh maintained that “vested interests” in the party were resisting Rahul’s reform measures.

When asked about the possibility of Rahul’s elevation at a party meeting in April, Gowda said: “Parkalam (let us wait and see),” citing the late Congress chief K Kamraj’s famous Tamil remark.

Earlier in the day when journalists sought the party chief’s response on Rahul’s elevation, Sonia said: “You will come to know when it happens”.

Sonia has the distinction of being the longest-serving president in the 130-year history of the Congress party. – From Hindustan Times

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