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Stand by the letter but if it hurt Sonia Gandhi, we should apologise, Veerappa Moily says

Congress leader Veerappa Moily tells ThePrint the only intention behind writing the letter was to strengthen the party, says Sonia Gandhi 'best person to take on challenges’.

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily, who was one of the signatories to the letter to party president Sonia Gandhi demanding a leadership overhaul, has said he stands by the concerns raised in the letter but is sorry for any “hurt” caused to Gandhi.

“I continue to stand by the concerns. But if any of the sentences in the letter have hurt Mrs Gandhi, we need to correct ourselves. We should all apologise,” Moily told ThePrint in a telephone interview.

The former Karnataka chief minister said the other signatories should not try and further “other purposes” through this letter.

“They (the other signatories) should demonstrate full faith in the leadership. No one should attempt to split the party. If anyone tries to split the party then I do not stand with them,” Moily said.

While Moily did not name anyone specific, other signatories to the letter such as Kapil Sibal and Ghulam Nabi Azad had raised objections to the manner in which the letter was addressed in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting last week.

Sibal complained that “not one request or concern shown in the letter (was) addressed at the CWC meet”, while Azad said if the Congress doesn’t hold internal elections soon, the party “will be in the opposition for the next 50 years”.

The letter had demanded a leadership that is both “visible” and “active” in the field, and called for elections to be conducted for CWC membership. The signatories had also sought an urgent establishment of an “institutional leadership mechanism” to “collectively” guide the party’s revival.

Also read: In Gandhi family’s win, Congress is the biggest loser

‘Intention is not to grab some position’

Moily hit out at “those seeking power” among the letter writers. “The intention of writing this letter is not to grab some position, it is only to strengthen the party,” he said. 

He added: “I don’t think anyone should be hurt by or take objection to the appointments made in the two Houses.”

Gandhi last week announced significant changes in party posts in both Houses of Parliament — where those considered close to the Gandhi family were promoted to plum positions, in what is being seen as a snub to the letter writers.

In Lok Sabha, two-term MP Gaurav Gogoi was appointed the deputy leader of the party, and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu was appointed as the party whip.

In Rajya Sabha, senior leaders Jairam Ramesh, Ahmed Patel and K.C. Venugopal were appointed to a committee, which earlier had Azad and Anand Sharma, both signatories to the letter, as its members to strategise the party’s approach and position in the House.

Azad subsequently slammed those who got “appointment cards” but disagreed with the proposal of the letter.

“The intention is to make Congress active and strong. But those who simply got appointment cards continue to oppose our proposal,” Azad had told ANI

However, Moily said Gandhi can alone determine “how to manage Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha”. 

‘Sonia Gandhi best person to take on challenges’

Even though the senior leaders were slammed for the “ill-timed” letter, at the stormy CWC meet, Moily said he is hopeful the concerns will be addressed soon.

“I have given several reports and feedback to Mrs Gandhi on a variety of issues in the past. She has never been averse to changes,” he said.

Moily added that he has individually “written to Sonia Gandhi plenty of times in the past” about various internal party matters. He said Gandhi is “best-suited” to bring about the changes demanded in the letter.

“She sacrificed the post of PM, even when everyone insisted that she should become PM. That sort of greatness you cannot find easily,” he said.

Moily said Gandhi “is the best person who can take on these challenges”.

He added that the next few years will be of “utmost importance” in determining the future of the Congress.

“The only party that can lead the fight against BJP is Congress. The coalition of all opposition parties can also happen only if Congress takes the lead. That is why Congress must prepare a roadmap — this has to be done brick-by-brick,” Moily said.

Also read: Remember Vajpayee-Nehru episode? That is why Congress must let Modi off the hook on China


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  1. Mai baap culture in congress is taken to greater heights. This political outfit has lost its relevance in Indian politics. Sooner this drama is over better it is for us. There seems to be no hope that Congress is going to fullfill its duty as a responsible opposition. It simply cannot think beyond power and pelf.

  2. First family loyalist speaks. But its too late dear VM. You will not be accepted in the coterie now.
    Still time is left for all of you to reorganize congress for which u need courage . Sadly that is missing in the party.

  3. ”She sacrificed the post of PM” What a lie. Sonia is the biggest crook in the country, if not in the world. Congress has to wait till she dies. But then, that will also be the end of the party.

  4. How low these so called Congress politicians go? They are bending backwards to a half literate woman who is a foreigner and who stole billions from the country, an utterly dishonest woman. But then. most Congress politicians are also thieves.

  5. Of course apologize what else can you do. Nothing can dislodge NEHRU GANDHI FAMILY from the helm of affairs.

    Even BJP wants them to be INCHARGE

    • Right you are. As long as the donkey rahul ( Bongs say RAMCHHAGOL) is in Congress and her mum in the chair, Modi will have a fine day any time. I feel sorry for the PRINT writers who are trying their best to bring some senses to the leaders.

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