Chidambaram's non-Gandhi chief pitch receives backlash from colleague

PC thrashed for non-Gandhi chief pitch
Chennai, Oct 27: Virtually endorsing the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in his party, former Union Shipping Minister and senior Congress leader GK Vasan on Monday said here that party workers were not in favour of a non-Gandhi party chief.

Last week, when asked if a non-Gandhi can become Congress president, former Union Finance Minister and senior party leader P Chidambaram told a television channel "I think so. Someday yes."

He, however, said, "I do not know" when asked about a timeline for such a development to happen.

Against this background, Vasan told reporters in Chennai on Monday that "no Congress worker or leader from Kashmir to Kanyakumari wants a person from non-Gandhi clan to be the Congress President. There is no such idea. This is my opinion."

The opinion of Vasan, endorsing the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and reiterating his loyalty to them, assumes significance as he wields a tremendous clout in the faction ridden Tamil Nadu Congress Committee.

He is perceived as the top leader of Congress in Tamil Nadu with a maximum following of cadres and it is little wonder that the TNCC president BS Gnanadesikan is a Vasan loyalist.

The remarks of Chidambaram and Vasan's counter to it has come at a time when the process of organisational elections was on in Congress, which will culminate with the election of the new party chief by end of July 2015.

Congress party, under Sonia Gandhi's leadership since March 1998 has seen many ups and downs nationally with two consecutive victories in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls.


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