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  India   Politics  24 Jun 2019  A ‘non-Gandhi’ can be party chief, says Mani Shankar

A ‘non-Gandhi’ can be party chief, says Mani Shankar

PTI
Published : Jun 24, 2019, 9:54 am IST
Updated : Jun 24, 2019, 9:54 am IST

Rahul had offered to quit as the party chief during the May 25 meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

Congress president, senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar
 Congress president, senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar

New Delhi: Amid uncertainty over Rahul Gandhi continuing as Congress president, senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Sunday that a ‘non-Gandhi’ can be party chief, but the Gandhi family must remain active within the organisation.

The BJP’s objective is to have a “Gandhi-mukt Congress” so as to have a “Congress-mukt Bharat”, he claimed. It would be best that Rahul remains party chief, but at the same time, Rahul’s own wishes must also be respected, Mr Aiyar said.

“I am sure we can survive if we have to without a Nehru-Gandhi as the titular head of the party, provided the Nehru-Gandhis remain active in the party and can help resolve a crisis in case serious differences arise,” he told PTI in an interview.

Mr Aiyar said Rahul has given about a month to the party to find a replacement and there have been confabulations within the Congress over the issue with the feeling in the party overwhelmingly in favour of Rahul staying on.

The former Union minister, however, emphasised that instead of speculating, media must wait for the “deadline” to know whether a replacement has been found or Rahul gets persuaded to remain Congress chief.

“I don’t think it is a matter of personalities. I know it is the objective of the BJP to have a Gandhi-mukt Congress so as to have a Congress-mukt Bharat. I don’t think we should be falling into the trap of thinking that they have discovered something that we are not able to discover,” Mr Aiyar said.

“If you simply cut off the head then the chicken may start fluttering as it does in the animal kingdom,” the 78-year-old leader said when asked if organisational overhaul at the top was needed.

Mr Aiyar cited several instances in the history of the party when people from outside the Nehru-Gandhi family were presidents of the party, from U.N. Dhebar to Brahma-nanda Reddy. The same model could even now be adopted, he said.

Rahul had offered to quit as the party chief during the May 25 meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

Tags: mani shankar aiyar, rahul gandhi