Sonia-Rahul leadership ideal, says Congress

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) With no clear time frame for Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as party president, Congress on Tuesday praised the existing dual leadership, saying it was an ideal situation which was allowing for division of work.

Facing a volley of questions on Rahul Gandhi’s possible elevation following the Congress Working Committee decision to extend term of party president Sonia Gandhi by a year, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the party was at present getting leadership of two leaders instead of one.

“There is mature leadership and youth leadership. It is a combination. It is good for the party and for the country… It is a very ideal situation. The party is running in a very good atmosphere under the two leaders,” he said, adding that there is a time for everything and the party will judge when the change has to be made.

Answering another query, he said there was no question of two power centres and the entire party was working like one unit.

There was intense speculation about Rahul Gandhi’s elevation during his nearly two-month-long sabbatical that ended in April. Party leaders expressed divergent views on the issue with a section wanting his early elevation while another wanting the status quo to continue.

Rahul Gandhi has aggressively taken on the Narendra Modi government on a range of issues since his return from sabbatical but party leaders have desisted from making comments over his elevation.

Party sources said in his speech at the meeting, Gandhi expressed concern that soul and spirit of the 2013 land act is not whittled down with amendments brought by state governments.

He came in for special praise at the CWC meeting from his mother Sonia Gandhi and other members for leading the battle against the Narendra Modi government on its land ordinance.

The government allowed its ordinance to lapse following stiff opposition from the Congress to changes in the 2013 Act on land acquisition which was passed during the United Progressive Alliance government.

Sonia Gandhi said the the government had been compelled to withdraw its “anti-farmer amendments” due to party’s sustained campaign.

“The credit for this goes to every worker of the Congress Party, who under Rahul’s active guidance, carried out a sustained agitation,” she said.

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