I am a ‘full-time and hands-on Congress president’, Sonia Gandhi tells CWC

Addressing a meeting of the CWC, Sonia says ‘I have always appreciated frankness’ and ‘there is no need to speak to me through the media’

The CWC – the party’s highest decision-making body, met on Saturday to finalise the schedule for organisational elections. Credit: Twitter/ArchanaDalmia

Sonia Gandhi on Saturday hit back at critics in the Congress demanding a “visible and effective leadership” and said she was a “full-time and hands-on president”.

Addressing a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, Sonia, who has been interim president since her son Rahul resigned two years ago, said “I have always appreciated frankness” and “there is no need to speak to me through the media” – a reference to letters released by ‘G-23’ members that triggered public spats between leaders in both camps.

“I am, if you will allow me to say so, a full-time and hands on Congress president,” she said, highlighting her leadership on national issues like the farmers’ protests, the provision of aid and relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read: Congress divided on Prashant Kishor’s entry, Sonia to take final call

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“You are aware that I have been taking them up with the prime minister, as have Dr Manmohan Singh ji and Rahul ji… I have been interacting with like-minded political parties regularly. We have issued joint statements on national issues and coordinated our strategy in Parliament as well.”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi called for free and honest discussions

Sonia called for a free and honest discussion on challenges facing the party. “… but what should get communicated outside the four walls of this room is the collective decision of the CWC,” she said, in another warning to the ‘G-23’.

During the meet senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad – a G-23 member – said: “We have full faith in Sonia Gandhi ji and nobody is questioning her leadership,” ANI reported.

Also read: Party moves on ‘eyes wide shut’, Kapil Sibal slams Congress leadership

The CWC – the party’s highest decision-making body, met on Saturday to finalise the schedule for organisational elections. A full-time party president and a team of new office-bearers will be chosen in September next year.

This is a long-standing demand of the G-23, who have called for sweeping structural changes in the Congress.

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