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No one except from Gandhi family will be acceptable as chief: Cong workers at AICC HQ

File photo of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: As the Congress' top decision-making body CWC met virtually to discuss the contentious leadership issue, several party workers gathered at the AICC headquarters here on Monday raising slogans, asserting that no one except from the Gandhi family would be acceptable as party chief.

The scenes at the party headquarters were indicative of the growing tumult in the Congress with the party deeply divided on the leadership issue.

Though the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting is taking place virtually, several Congress workers gathered outside the party's 24 Akbar Road office and raised slogans in support of the Gandhi family.

Many carried placards like "Gandhi ke alawa adhyaksh manzoor nahi (nobody is acceptable as president except Gandhi)" and "Gandhi pariwar ke alawa koi adhyaksh bana, toh party toot hi jayegi (if anybody outside the Gandhi family becomes chief, the party will break).

After 23 party leaders wrote to Sonia Gandhi seeking revamp of major bodies, sources close to her said she might offer to step down from the post of president in the CWC meeting and ask the party to look for a full-time chief.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) media chief Randeep Surjewala, however, denied it.

A senior Congress leader, who was among the 23 signatories of the letter to Sonia Gandhi, said that their demand is she continue as "full time" president.

"If she is not willing, Rahul Gandhi should withdraw his resignation and work as full-time president," the leader, who did not want to be named, told PTI .

"If he (Rahul Gandhi) wants to run the party, he should announce it in the CWC meeting that he is withdrawing his resignation and was willing to work full time... The group (23 leaders) are ready for 'aar-paar' (to go the distance)," he said without elaborating.

As the main opposition party faces yet another internal crisis, several top leaders, including its chief ministers and state unit presidents, have rallied behind the Gandhi family, calling for Sonia Gandhi to stay or Rahul Gandhi to take charge again.

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