As Congress elects a non-Gandhi chief, top leaders insist the Gandhi family plays a crucial role in moving forward

With the Congress electing its first non-Gandhi president in 24 years, senior leaders on Monday asserted that the guidance of the Gandhi family would be crucial and play a vital role in the party in the coming days.

The elections are significant as the new president will replace Sonia Gandhi, the longest-serving Congress president. She has been in power since 1998, except for the two years between 2017 and 2019 when Rahul Gandhi took over.

Voting for the post of Congress President began on Monday. Senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor are facing each other for the position of AICC chief. Over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) representatives from the body select the party chief during a vote.

Speaking to reporters after casting her vote at the AICC headquarters here, senior leader Ambika Soni said the Gandhi family could not be ignored, and the attachment of party workers with them will continue.

Appreciating Sonia Gandhi’s contribution to the party, Soni said that she was instrumental in the formation of the UPA government and Congress’ victory in the 2004 elections by defeating the BJP’s ‘Shining India’ campaign.

“This commitment to isolate him (Gandhi) can ne’er succeed. Mention problems like value rise, costs square measure intensifying,” the previous Union minister told reporters.

Later on, regarding theatres like him and Sonia Gandhi, Soni said, “I have no role.              I even have served fifty-two years within the Congress party. I want Sonia Ji’s role to be our guide, friend, philosopher, MP, CLP…will remain the same.”

Congress General Secretary Mukul Wasnik said that the Gandhi family has a history of more than 100 years, and its members played a vital role in the freedom struggle, which no one can ignore.

“Even after gaining independence, he has contributed a lot to the making of modern India. When the time demanded, he also made the supreme sacrifice; no one can forget the sacrifice of Indira Ji, Rajiv Ji and the contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru in giving a vision for building a modern India.

“The Gandhi family can still play an important role. Sonia Gandhi could step down when the new president is elected. However, there’s little doubt that she has been our leader and can still be our leader. We are going to look to him from time to time for inspiration and steering,” said Wasnik.

He said that Rahul Gandhi has a set of ideas to move forward, and his guidance will be invaluable for the party.

Congress spokesperson and in-charge of Sikkim, Tripura and Nagaland Ajay Kumar said it was a historic moment as he criticized the BJP for attacking the AICC presidential elections.

“None folks know how JP Nadda was elected; 2 and a half individuals determined – one Modi, one crowned head and half RSS. So it is a joke for such a party to comment on elections.

“A real party, we’ve our challenges before the USA. However, you’ll see an enormous quantity of goodwill for whichever president you’ll be elected,” Kumar said.

Mentioning that Rahul Gandhi is undertaking the 3,500-km Kanyakumari for the Kashmir India Jodi Yatra, he said it was a difficult task and that Gandhi was undoubtedly a crowd puller.

“Who is pulling the crowd for the journey? Therefore, why would the person not be vital,” Kumar asked.

“Whether it’s Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka-Ji or different huge leaders, there square measure many of us, Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot; most are there. Mister Gandhi is one of the tallest leaders of our cluster,” he said.

Kharge and Tharoor have emphasized that Kharge has said that he will seek their “guidance” and “suggestions”, and Tharoor has said that no Congress president should work keeping his distance from the Gandhi family.

In the post-independence era, the members of the Gandhi family have been at the party’s helm for almost 40 years.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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