CWC under Manmohan should decide interim Congress chief: Karan Singh
Expressing disappointment over the current drift in the Congress after resignation of Rahul Gandhi as party chief, veteran leader Karan Singh on Monday sought an immediate meeting of the Working Committee under chairmanship of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take decisions, including of finding the new interim President.
Karan Singh said that the CWC - the party's top decision-making body - should decide on the interim President until the next party elections and suggested appointing four Working Presidents and Vice Presidents representing each zone -- north, south, east and west.
"This would enable the introduction of younger people into positions of authority," he said in a statement.
"As someone who joined the Congress in 1967 over half a century ago, I am aghast to see the confusion and disorientation into which the Congress has fallen since Rahul Gandhi resigned on the 25th May," he said adding that instead of honouring his bold decision, a month was wasted in pleading with him to take back his resignation, which as a man of honour and integrity, he should not have been pressurized to do.
His statement came after several Congress leaders have given up their posts after Gandhi's resignation.
Speaking to IANS, Karan Singh said that he was dismayed to see the situation "as six weeks have passed since Rahul has resigned on May 25 during the CWC meeting and the party seems to be in disarray".
"Instead of moving ahead we wasted six weeks in pleading 'please, don't resign'.
"Of course, he (Gandhi) has resigned, he is an intelligent man, he a man of honour and principles, if he wants to resign, then let him resign and then move on.
"We wasted that time and nothing happened. So I was impelled to write and I suggested that Congress Working Committee should meet under the chairmanship of Manmohan Singh, he is the seniormost leader of the party. He was Prime Minister for 10 years and he should take a decision on one interim chief of the party until the elections take place in Congress."
Asked if he has given any names, Karan Singh denied making any suggestions.
On that many party leaders want Rahul Gandhi to continue as party chief, the Congress leader said: "You need to honour his decision. You cannot bulldoze him."
Agreeing that the party was facing a very turbulent time, he said: "We are in a difficult situation. And I think that Congress should revive not only for the party itself but for the democracy.
"In a democracy, we need a strong opposition... if Congress is in depleted condition then who is going to provide strong opposition. We only have regional parties and at national level, there is no other party. It is important for the Congress to get its act together and to move on."
Asked if he agreeed that if Rahul Gandhi resigns, then the party may disintegrate as many leaders have warned, Karan Singh said: "That's a sort of self-fulfilling thing. I say the reverse if you don't something now, then the party will disintegrate."
He also said that he will met Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to discuss the party issues.
Taking moral responsibility for the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, where the Congress won only 52 out of 542 seats and he lost his own Amethi seat, Gandhi had offered to step down as party President on May 25 during the CWC meeting. While CWC members rejected his offer unanimously, Gandhi remained insistent on stepping down.
Speaking to reporters in Parliament last Wednesday, Gandhi made it clear that he was not the party President and was not involved in electing a new party chief. He then, later in the day, shared his four-page resignation letter on Twitter. IANS