Letter politics a sign of some leaders’ ‘frustration and weakness’, says Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar

Senior Congress leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor, had written to Sonia Gandhi, seeking organisational changes

Press Trust of India August 30, 2020 08:50:28 IST
Letter politics a sign of some leaders’ ‘frustration and weakness’, says Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar

Chandigarh: Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Saturday said the “letter-politics” seeking changes in the party reflected “insecurities and political ambitions” of some of its signatories.

Twenty-three Congress leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor, had written to party chief Sonia Gandhi earlier in the month, seeking organisational changes.

The issues raised by the leaders were discussed during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Monday.

During the marathon seven-hour meeting, it was decided that Sonia Gandhi will continue as the party's interim president and effect necessary organisational changes while an AICC session will be called at the earliest to start the process of electing a new chief.

Jakhar in a statement said as Sonia Gandhi had clearly stated that the party organisation and its president would be elected in six months but it was unfortunate that some leaders continued making unwanted statements.

Such statements become even more ridiculous as the demand for elections is being made by those who never contested the polls themselves, Jakhar said.

The state Congress chief said there were “inherent contradictions” in the letter written by them.

“They target Rahul Gandhi for abetting division within the ranks by holding Youth Congress elections, and on the other hand, they want elections to be held from the block level to the national body despite pandemic crisis,” he said.

“Is it not applying double standards? Will these elections then not create rift in the party itself,” he questioned.

Jakhar said instead of giving a serious thought before making statements, some leaders were trying to protect their positions, which was a “sign of frustration and weakness”.

Jakhar recalled that in the party's general meeting in 2018, the very leaders who are now talking about party elections had proposed that instead of holding the elections, the Congress president should be authorised to appoint the working committee.

He said a leader had tried to justify the Congress Working Committee elections on the pretext that the person elected in this way will have a guaranteed tenure and will be able to speak his mind without the fear of losing his seat.

“I believe that any person, whether elected or nominated, who doesn't have the courage of his conviction and is unable to speak up his mind for the fear of losing his position, has no right to be on the decision-making body of the party,” said Jakhar.

The Punjab Congress chief said in fact some leaders had “lost self-confidence and had forgotten” how high their status in the party was. He said such status was not due to membership of any house but due to their experience and contribution to the party.

Those holding high positions in the party should realise that their political standing will not be affected with the expiry of their Rajya Sabha memberships, he said.

Commenting on the idea of “collective leadership”, Jakhar said, "I want to assure that they will always be a part of the party's collective leadership as the party has invested a lot in them and wants to benefit from their decades-long experience in the Rajya Sabha."

“Of course, I am a supporter of democracy in the party but there should be regular brainstorming within the party and the modalities of its implementation should be worked out through mutual deliberation,” Jakhar said.

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