Congress President Sonia Gandhi (Right) along with Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Sonia Gandhi (Right) along with Rahul Gandhi

Sycophancy in the Congress party’s Maharashtra unit was at its best in a bid to reaffirm the confidence in the leadership of Gandhi family.

Maharashtra Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar said if former party president Rahul Gandhi asks the Congress ministers to resign from the Maha Vikas Aghadi government then they will immediately step down.

His statement is important as Congress with 44 legislators in the 288-member state assembly is a junior partner in the Shiv Sena-led MVA government in Maharashtra. Since it has joined the government, the Congress ministers and legislators are raking up the issue of neglecting them in the decision making and during the allocation of funds. This is despite Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's assurance to respect the crucial ally.

Wadettiwar however, said he did not see anything wrong in the move by 23 party legislators writing the letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi seeking a full-time president for the party.

‘’They have not opposed the present leadership as the Congress party is a symbol of democratic values,’’ he noted.

Wadettiwar’s statement is important as Sonia Gandhi in her capacity as interim president had given her go-ahead for the Congress party to extend support to Shiv Sena-led government and later joining it in a bid to keep BJP at bay. This was despite Rahul Gandhi’s reported opposition. During the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Rahul had said that Congress party was not leading the government but was in a supporting role in Maharashtra.On the other hand, Minister of Dairy Development Sunil Kedar asked Prithviraj Chavan, Mukul Wasnik and Milind Deora, who were part of those 23 leaders who dashed off a letter to Sonia Gandhi, to apologise for questioning the leadership of Gandhi family. In a strongly-worded tweet he said, "I wholeheartedly support Hon Sonia Gandhi ji as president. It is shameful for Mukul Wasnik, Prithviraj Chavan and Milind Deora to raise questions on leadership of Gandhi family. These leaders must apologise for their actions immediately. Otherwise, the Congress workers will see how they move freely in the state. Congress can give a fight to the BJP government only when the party has Gandhi as its head. This is high time to stand firmly behind Sonia ji’s leadership.’’

Kedar’s scathing criticism against Wasnik and Chavan was quite obvious; he does not get along well in state politics. Kedar had reportedly threatened to work against Wasnik if he was fielded by the Congress party as candidate from Ramtek Lok Sabha seat in the last general election. Wasnik did not contest.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the Congress party will have to sort out its internal issues to play the role of leading opposition party at the national level. Congress needs a full-time President, he added.

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Free Press Journal