Gandhi, the 46-year-old, No 2 in the Congress was ‘unanimously appealed’ to by the CWC, to take over the post his mother, Sonia Gandhi, has held since 1998. Sonia Gandhi skipped the meeting as she was reportedly unwell and her office unofficially said it would not be appropriate to attend when a decision was being taken for extension of her leadership to continue.
Senior party leader A K Antony, who was present at the CWC meeting on Monday, said that the time was right for Rahul to take charge as president of the party. “CWC was of view that Rahul Gandhi must take over presidency for Congress party, its high time the Congress mobilises all forces to fight against the dictatorial rule of Modi government,” AK Antony told reporters after the meeting ended.
In his opening remarks before proceeding with the agenda of the meeting, Rahul said, “Hiding behind the cloak of national security, civil society is being intimidated for asking questions. Television channels are being punished and asked to shut down. The opposition is being arrested for holding the government to account. All attempts by this government to suppress our fundamental freedoms by abusing state power will only strengthen our resolve to defeat such dangerous designs.”