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Punjab CM opposes bid to challenge Gandhi family's leadership

Punjab CM opposes bid to challenge Gandhi family's leadership

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Aug 23 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has opposed the bid by some Congress leaders to challenge the Gandhi family's leadership of the party, saying this was not the time to raise such an issue, given the need for a strong opposition against the BJP-led NDA that was out to destroy the country's Constitutional ethos and democratic principles.
In a statement from the Punjab Chief Minister's office issued here on Sunday, the veteran Congress leader said the NDA's success was attributable to the absence of a strong and united Opposition, and the move by these Congress leaders to demand a rehaul of the party at this critical juncture would be detrimental to its interests, and the interests of the nation.
India is currently facing not just external dangers from across the border but also internal threats to its federal structure, he said, adding that a unified Congress alone could protect the country and its people.
As per the Punjab CMO, terming the demand for a leadership change as untenable, Captain Amarinder noted the immense contribution of the Gandhi family to the country's progress since it achieved freedom from British rule. What the Congress needs is a leadership that is acceptable not just to a few but to the entire party, through its rank and file, and the nation at large, he said, adding that the Gandhis were the right fit for this role.
As per the statement from the Punjab CMO, Sonia Gandhi should continue to helm the Congress as long as she wanted, Singh said and added that Rahul should thereafter take over as he was fully competent to lead the party.
The Chief Minister said there was not a single village in India which did not have a Congress member to carry forward its ideology of upholding the Constitutional principles, rights and freedoms. The credit for that, he said, went to the Gandhis, without whose selfless commitment, dedication and unimaginable sacrifices, the party would not have stood like a rock in the path of the BJP and its Sanghi ambitions to divide the country on the lines of caste and religion.
At a time when the bedrock of India's Constitutional strength was under threat, it was important for every Congressman and Congresswoman to stand firmly and unitedly behind the Gandhis, who had held the party together all these decades and could continue to do so, said Captain Amarinder.
There was currently no leader in the Congress who could give the party that kind of strong leadership, he said and urged one and all to put the interests of the party and the nation above their own.
The Gandhis were the only universally recognisable face of the Congress, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the Chief Minister stressed, pointing out that of the five generations that had served the country since the pre-Independence times, beginning with Moti Lal Nehru and Independent India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, two (Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi) had sacrificed their lives for the nation.
Electoral defeats could not be the yardstick for leadership change, said the Chief Minister, adding that just because the Congress was down at the moment did not mean the Gandhis' contribution to its growth could or should be undermined. The BJP rose from two parliamentary seats to lead the country, he pointed out, adding that the Congress will rise again, and that too under the leadership of a Gandhi.
Captain Amarinder warned that any move to divide or destabilise the party would give advantage to the dictatorial forces that are seeking to trample the ideals on which our founding fathers had built modern India that is respected by the world today. The destruction of those ideals would trigger the devastation not just of the Congress but India as a whole, he added. (ANI)

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