Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sonia Gandhi sole power centre, says Congress

New Delhi: The controversy triggered by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh that the dual power centre represented by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and prime minister Manmohan Singh did not work well, and which was contradicted by party media cell chairman Janardhan Dwivedi saying that the teamwork and the sharing of power between Gandhi and Singh was ideal and that it could serve as a model in the future too, took an interesting turn on Monday when a senior Congress functionary gave it another interpretive twist. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the functionary, demolished the very idea of dual power centre, and said that Gandhi was the only power centre. He argued that Manmohan Singh was nominated as prime minister by Gandhi in 2004, and it was she who announced Singh as the party's prime ministerial candidate in the 2009 election. The source said that the prime minister is bound to implement the party's agenda because it was the party that had won the election. He started off by saying that a dual power centre was a natural phenomenon in any democracy because that the party will have its own president, and the leader of the government will be another, except in some rare instances as when the head of the government and of the party are the same person. It was so when Indira Gandhi held both the positions for some time and it was so again with P.V.Narasimha Rao. After independence, the Congress president and the prime minister of a Congress government were different persons and there was always a dual power centre. The partyman has even argued that the prime minister and president of the country have no option but to implement the party agenda because they have been chosen for these positions by the party. When he was reminded that when Jawaharlal Nehru was president, it did not matter who was the Congress president because of the towering personality of Nehru, and that it was so in the case of Indira Gandhi as well, the Congressman said that Nehru had a historic status of his own and he could not be compared with others. But he made the interesting observation that in the case of Indira Gandhi, the party split twice (1969, 1978) because there were differences. In 1969, Indira Gandhi was the prime minister and S.Nijalingappa was the party president, and she was expelled from the party. In 1978, she was out of power after losing the post-Emergency election of 1977 and she was marginalised. He implied that in a power tussle, the stronger person wins, and that Indira Gandhi won in both instances. The functionary revealed his sense of realpolitik when he acknowledged that in a clash of personalities, it is the stronger one who prevailed. He left no one in doubt as to who is the stronger personality between Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. He has also made it clear that as long as Sonia Gandhi remained president of the party, she will remain the numero uno, and that Rahul Gandhi as vice president is only second in command, and there is no confusion about the hierarchy.

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