“If he asks us to leave the government, we will do it immediately"
While several Congress leaders from Maharashtra expressed their faith in Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, state minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that the Congress will even get out of the power in Maharashtra if Mr Gandhi doesn’t want to continue alliance with Shiv Sena.
Mr Wadettiwar, who joined the Congress from Shiv Sena in 2005, said the Gandhi family has the capacity to lead the country and that Rahul Gandhi should be reinstated as the party president. “The Congress party epitomises true democratic values, hence the letter written by some party leaders to Sonia Gandhi over demand for a full-time president should not be seen as opposition to current leadership,” he said.
Asked if Rahul Gandhi asked the Maharashtra Congress to snap ties with the Shiv Sena, Mr Wadettiwar said, “If he asks us to leave the government, we will do it immediately. We will not stay with the government one more day.”
Another senior Congress leader confirmed that the Gandhis didn’t agree for the post-poll alliance with Shiv Sena easily. “All seniors from the state had jointly convinced the Gandhis that the alliance with Shiv Sena was necessary to keep the BJP out of power. But once the government’s common minimum programme was decided, there hasn’t been any major issue between the two parties,” he said.
Congress minister Sunil Kedar also said he does not subscribe to the demand of some “so called intellectual leaders” from Maharashtra about the central party leadership. “Those leaders should first tender an unconditional apology or they will not be able to roam freely in the state. The Gandhi family’s leadership has helped the country and the party to progress for several decades,” he said.