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‘Never retired, will never retire’: Sonia Gandhi quashes speculation on her future in politics

Congress leader Alka Lamba scotched rumours saying Sonia told her she never took a break from politics. Rumours of retirement had spread after her speech on 2nd day of AICC plenary.

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Raipur: Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is not retiring from politics, as was widely reported after she said was gratified that her “innings could conclude with the Bharat Jodo Yatra.”

In her speech at the 85th All India Congress Committee (AICC) plenary Saturday, Sonia said that she was happy that her “innings” had come to an end with the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

She was speaking after the party passed a Resolution of Appreciation for her as the plenary marked a formal end to the 25-year stint as the Congress president — the longest ever in the party.

Many media outlets interpreted Sonia’s speech as an indication of her retiring from politics, but senior Congress leaders quashed the suggestion almost immediately. A formal statement, however, was not issued.

At the plenary Sunday, Congress spokesperson Alka Lamba put a formal end to the debate.

“I had the privilege of speaking to Sonia Gandhi ji for 2 minutes yesterday (Saturday). Today, I’d like to put an end to all rumours. Madam has told us all very clearly —  Main na kabhi retire hui thi, na kabhi retire hoongi (I had never retired not will I do so),” Lamba said, to rapturous applause from the AICC delegates assembled here.

On Saturday, after a video commemorating her time as Congress president was played out, Sonia said that during her tenure the Congress had seen its highest highs and lowest lows.

“Our victories in 2004 and 2009 along with the able leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh gave me personal satisfaction but what gratifies me most is that my innings could conclude with the Bharat Jodo Yatra,” she had said.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

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