Amid leadership debate in the Congress, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Monday that it is imperative that the party is led by a member of the Gandhi family.
In a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, he urged her to continue as the party chief or convince Rahul Gandhi to take up the position if she feels her health may not permit full-fledged dedication.
Siddaramaiah said Congress is in a similar situation today as it was in 1977 and 1998. He said not just the party but the "country is in a crisis" and there was a need for Congress to protect the principles enshrined in the constitution.
"India is under undeclared emergency and the democratic pillars are constantly attacked by Bharatiya Janata Party. In these difficult times, it is the need of the hour for a formidable opposition like Indian National Congress to protect the principles enshrined in the Constitution and be the voice of the nation. We, as a party, should be united to be effective in our relentless fight to make our country better," Karnataka Congress leader said.
He said this is possible only if Gandhi family leads the party and "it is the opinion of all leaders, supporters, and party workers".
"Hence, it is imperative that the party should be led by the Gandhi family. I humbly request you to continue as the President of All India Congress Committee, and if you feel that your health may not permit full-fledged dedication, I urge you to convince Rahul Gandhi to take up the position," the letter said.
Siddaramaiah's letter to Gandhi came after a letter by more than 20 Congress leaders to her in which they suggested sweeping changes in the working of the party including full-time and effective leadership, elections to Congress Working Committee and a collective institutional leadership mechsm to guide the revival of the party.
Sonia Gandhi has been interim chief of the party for over a year after Rahul Gandhi stepped down in 2019 after the second successive debacle of Congress in 2019 Lok Sabha. Sonia Gandhi had earlier been party chief for nearly 19 years.
( With inputs from ANI )
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