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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Punjab leaders tried convincing Rahul


Punjab leaders tried convincing Rahul

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 10

At the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, Punjab Congress leaders tried hard to convince Rahul Gandhi to stay as party chief, arguing he could not abdicate his role  at this critical juncture. They asked him to stay on and fight the BJP on the front foot.

In their suggestions to the Congress Working Committee sub-group that was tasked with engaging north Indian state leaders, Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar and former state party presidents Partap Bajwa and SS Dullo said they would rather sit at home than work under another president.

While Bajwa warned of mass desertions should Rahul quit, Jakhar said he would bide his time and return only when Rahul does.

“Captain of the ship cannot abandon it when the waters turn violent. He must stay and fight. Rahul will be falling for the BJP trap if he quits,” Jakhar said categorically adding that he would not work under the likes of Mukul Wasnik whose names were being propped up.

“I will not work under these people. Yes Mallikarjun Kharge can be an option provided UPA chief Sonia Gandhi remains the supreme leader,” Jakhar said to the CWC sub-group, which had among members - veteran P Chidambaram and AICC general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Bajwa warned of potential chances of disintegration of the Congress if Rahul refuses to stay and said, “So many people have left us. Many more will leave if Rahul quits now. He can’t run away. He must honour the sentiment of workers being expressed to the CWC today. Why have these consultations if the dominant feeling has to be disregarded eventually?” asked Bajwa, Congress Rajya Sabha MP.

Jakhar urged Priyanka to prevail on her brother to stay and said to her, “I know Rahul is headstrong, but he will listen to you. Together you two will work as “RPG”, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, which will serve as the lethal Rocket Propelled Grenade for the political enemy.”

Jakhar argued that the Gandhis have earned the Congress leadership with their sacrifices and the party can’t just install anyone and expect cadres to mutely fall in line.

Urging Rahul to stay, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Bittu blamed former PM Manmohan Singh for not crediting the UPA government’s achievements to the Congress and said Rahul Gandhi was now being unfairly held accountable for everything that’s wrong with the party.

Patiala MP Perneet Kaur batted for Rahul to continue and said if he was unwilling Priyanka should take charge. Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari and Faridkot MP Mohd Sadiq were not present during discussions today and the rest argued that quitting was not an option for Rahul at present.

“We’ve been taught the individual is not above the party. We hope that Rahul will keep that sentiment in mind,” said Chandigarh Congress president Pradeep Chabra.

‘More will leave’

"So many people have left us. Many more will leave if Rahul quits now. He must honour the sentiment of workers being expressed to the CWC. Why have these consultations if the dominant feeling has to be disregarded eventually?" Partap Bajwa, Punjab Cong EX-Chief

‘Convince brother’

I know Rahul Gandhi is headstrong, but he will listen to you (Priyanka). Together you two will work as ‘RPG’, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, which will serve as the lethal ‘Rocket Propelled Grenade’ for the political enemy. Sunil Jakhar, Punjab Cong President

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