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Congress workers demand party chief to be from Gandhi family, not outsiders

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New Delhi, Aug 24: Several Congress workers on Monday demanded that the party's president should be from the Gandhi family as top leaders held a virtual meeting of its highest decision making body amid a controversy over a letter by top leaders over changes in the organisation.

Sonia Gandhi

The meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) is being held after a controversy erupted over the letter by more than 20 senior leaders calling for 'full time' active leadership, sweeping reforms and raising questions about the party's condition and direction.

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The workers, who had gathered in front of the party office in Delhi, shouted slogans as well.

"We want party president from the Gandhi family only. Party will be destroyed and break away if any outsider is made president," Jagdish Sharma, who had gathered outside the Congress office with others.

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Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi offered to quit during the CWC meeting, asking the party to initiate the process for selecting a new party chief. However, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who spoke after Gandhi, and AK Antony urged her to continue.

As many as 23 party leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kipal Sibal, had written to Sonia Gandhi demanding a "full-time, visible president" and overhauling of the organisational structure including elections to the CWC.

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