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Priyanka and Rahul together can lift the Congress, says KV Thomas


Parikshit Luthra,CNN-IBN
Jun 06, 2014 at 05:48pm IST

New Delhi: The Congress party is still reeling under its worst ever electoral drubbing. While it has authorised Congress President Sonia Gandhi to make large scale changes there is a lot of uncertainty about the future.

Many have spoken out against Rahul Gandhi's leadership. Kerala Congress leader TH Mustafa was suspended for calling him a joker. Others have expressed a desire to see Priyanka as the leader of the party.

This is one issue the Congress has always been divided about. As Sonia Gandhi works on streamlining the Congress and replacing some of its top general secretaries with other more acceptable leaders it remains to be seen whether Priyanka will now accept a larger role.

To date Priyanka Gandhi has maintained that currently she has no intention to enter active politics and wants to give all her attention to her family. But despite this there have been demands to bring her into a more active role at least.

Now former union minister and Kerala MP KV Thomas has said that while Rahul is a strong leader, the Congress needs both him and Priyanka at this point.

In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN Thomas rejected all demands to replace Rahul but he said that its time Priyanka assisted him. While describing her leadership qualities he said, "I see Indira Gandhi in her, she has great leadership qualities. Both Rahul and Priyanka should work together."

Thomas, however, left it to the Congress President to decide how Priyanka should be brought in.

The Kerala Congress MP also expressed his apprehensions about Narendra Modi's style of functioning. Recently the newly formed central government scrapped all EGOMS in a move aimed at expediting decision making.

One does get a sense that the new Prime Minister wants a strong PMO which plays active role in decision making in all key sectors. While many have welcomed this, Thomas like his party colleagues have expressed their apprehensions.

He said, "The way the Prime Minister is functioning gives rise to an apprehension that he may be dictatorial, he is also identified with corporate interests which is not good."

Despite the electoral loss the Congress is no mood to look at Modi in a new light. The party was quick to distance itself from Shashi Tharoor's words of praise for the new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

For now the party has promised to play the role of a constructive opposition. But what its 44 MPs in Lok Sabha and 67 MPs in Rajya Sabha need is a confidence booster at this stage.

Whether Sonia Gandhi can deliver this with the much expected AICC reshuffle is the question.

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