T'gana Cong leader urges Rahul Gandhi to let Priyanka take over as party chief
Hyderabad, Jun 27: As Rahul Gandhi is adamant on leaving the post of Congress president, a senior party leader in Telangana on Thursday urged him to let his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra take over the reins.
Four-time MLA Marri Shashidhar Reddy said the party cadre should respect Rahul Gandhi's stance that accountability for the Congress's setback in the recent Lok Sabha elections should start from the top, no matter how much immense faith they have in him and wish that he continues to be in the post. Reddy, also the former vice-chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, said he has full faith in Rahul Gandhi's leadership but he respects his views that the party should find a new president.
"The party has to move on. The presence of Congress pan-India has to be effectively used to counter the BJP, though we did not win enough seats in the Lok Sabha elections," he told PTI. "Respecting his (Rahul Gandhi's) views, I think a decision should be taken soon," he said, noting that the party has to gear up as assembly elections are due in some states later this year. Reddy, son of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister M Channa Reddy, noted Rahul Gandhi has also insisted that his replacement should not be from another member of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
A former minister in the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh, Reddy has always been maintaining that it has been possible to hold the party together only because of the leadership given to it by the Nehru-Gandhi family. Some may call it dynasty or whatever, it is the way the Congress has evolved over the years. Somehow it has been totally dependent on the pan-India appeal of the Gandhi family, he said.
"So, from that point of view, we will be happy if he (Rahul Gandhi) agrees to let Priyanka Gandhi take over," he said. "As Mrs Sonia Gandhi relinquished (the post of Congress president) and paved the way for Rahul Gandhi's elevation, other option is Priyanka Gandhi," he said. Reddy also called for a "total revamp in the party in the real sense". Many senior Congress leaders have been holding positions "for ages" and they should now make way for others, he said. Senior party leaders be made part of an advisory body on the lines of the BJP's "Margdarshak Mandal", he suggested.