The party leaders who formed a Congress Loyalists Forum made this appeal through a letter to Sonia Gandhi. (File Photo)
Congress leaders on Wednesday urged Congress parliamentary party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi to be the 'saviour of the situation' following Rahul Gandhi's decision to quit as party president.
The party leaders who formed a Congress Loyalists Forum made this appeal through a letter to Sonia in view of Rahul's decision also to appoint an interim president of the grand old party.
As you have been the chairperson of UPA twice and are presently the leader of the CPP, we request you, most respectfully, to be the saviour of the situation, the forum said in the letter.
The forum comprises former vice-chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Marri Shashidhar Reddy, former MP V Hanumantha Rao, ex-MLA M Kodanda Reddy and others.
They said Rahul's decision to step down as Congress president has demoralised the partys rank and file.
''His (Rahul's) reluctance to relent on his decision has created a vacuum in the organisational structure for too long, giving ammunition to the partys political adversaries,'' they said.
We strongly feel that it is time to (take) serious steps to rejuvenate their emotions to strengthen the party at this critical juncture to be better prepared to take on the challenges confronting the nation,'' they said.
Shashidhar Reddy had earlier suggested that the process to elect a new party president in the wake of Rahul's decision to step down shouldbe expedited and an interim president be put in place to giveconfidence to the party's rank and file.
I think there is a need to expedite it. Because, the feedback from the grassroots-level is something that, the party cadre is growing restless about. What appears to be a leadership vacuum should not be allowed to continue for long, Reddy, son of former Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh Marri Channa Reddy, had told PTI.
The perceived vacuum should not be allowed to continue particularly so in the light of alleged use of money power and all kinds of intimidation by the BJP to wean away from people from other parties, he said.
I am interacting with people at the grassroots- level, they are asking what should we do. (where are we heading). This question should not creep into the minds of Congress cadres and workers at the lower level.
Because, they are the base, he said. The hard-core Congress workers, small or big, form the nucleus and the vacuum is creating anxiety in their minds which is not good for the party, he said.
Shashidhar Reddy suggested that an interim president be declared for the party immediately as it cannot remain anorganisation without a leader.
I am not an expert or I am not somebody who can say what needs to be done. But, certainly, one of the suggestions I would like to make is that let them immediately declare an interim president, he said.
Shashidhar Reddy, a staunch Congressman, had earlier appealed to CWC members and AICC office-bearers to quit their posts to give a free hand to Rahul to reorganise and revamp the party.