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Next Congress chief: Partymen entitled to articulate views

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, July 30: The Congress said partymen are entitled to articulate their point of view, as it refused to answer whether Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should lead the party.

Earlier in the day, senior party leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that Priyanka Gandhi will be a perfect choice to take over the party reins and will get all-round support if chosen to take over as Congress president.

Next Congress chief: Partymen entitled to articulate views

"I think you need to draw a distinction. When the party takes a stand, it takes a stand on issues which are extrinsic to the party. On matters, which are intrinsic to the party, since we are a democratic party, the people have a right to articulate their point of view," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

Congress to chose its next chief through secret ballot

"So, therefore, the party has a stand on matters which are extrinsic to the internal dynamics of the party and when you come to the internal dynamics of the party, you see inner party democracy playing itself out whereby people are entitled to articulate their point of view," he told reporters.

Days after he batted for young leader for taking over as the Congress president, Singh on Monday said, "Priyanka will be a perfect choice to take over the party reins but it will all depend on the Congress Working Committee (CWC), which alone is authorised to take a decision in the matter."

However, he regretted the decision of Rahul Gandhi to step down from the top party post.

"India is a young nation, and will respond to a young leader," he reiterated.

"Priyanka Gandhi is an excellent choice for the next Congress president who would enjoy all-round support. Agree with Shashi Tharoor that her natural charisma would galvanise and rally the workers and voters alike. Hope the CWC decides on it soon," Singh said on Twitter.

His comments were sought on Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's statement that Priyanka Gandhi would be a good choice for being chosen as party president.

"She has the intelligence and instinct to understand and relate to the needs of the nation, and also has the courage to take on any challenge and take the fight to victory," he added.

Given Rahul Gandhi's refusal to take back his resignation, Priyanka Gandhi was a good bet to replace him as the new leader, said the chief minister.

Tharoor has said he hopes that Priyanka Gandhi will throw her hat in the ring when the call for elections for the party chief's post is made.

He also asserted that "lack of clarity" over leadership following Rahul Gandhi's resignation is hurting the Congress, and the way forward for the party could be opening up all key posts, including the CWC membership, to fresh elections.

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