Ambika Soni hoists flag at Congress headquarters

It is seen as a political signal sent weeks ahead of the party’s poll to elect new president

August 15, 2022 08:02 pm | Updated 08:02 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leaders Ambika Soni during the party’s ceremony for the hoisting of the National Flag on the occasion of 76th Independence Day, at AICC Headquarters in New Delhi, on August 15, 2022.

Congress leaders Ambika Soni during the party’s ceremony for the hoisting of the National Flag on the occasion of 76th Independence Day, at AICC Headquarters in New Delhi, on August 15, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

As Congress president Sonia Gandhi is yet to recover from her second bout of COVID-19, Congress working committee (CWC) member Ambika Soni on Monday hoisted the national flag at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in the presence of former party chief Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders.

The flag-hoisting by a Congress leader who is not a member of the Gandhi family, barely weeks before the party is scheduled to elect a new party president, is being seen for the political signal it sends about the party’s leadership issue.

As The Hindu had reported a week ago, Mr. Gandhi is said to be reluctant and to have argued with his colleagues that he doesn’t need to become the party chief to carry on his fight against the Narendra Modi government.

With Mr. Gandhi’s reluctance being talked about privately, a section of the party is said to be pushing for early completion of organisational polls before the party undertakes the Kanyakumari to Kashmir ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from September 7, a programme in which Mr. Gandhi is expected to extensively participate.

A final decision, however, on any change of schedule can be made only with the approval of the CWC, which is expected to meet soon.

On Monday too, Mr. Gandhi joined other top top leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, K.C. Venugopal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Jairam Ramesh, and party treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal, along with hundreds of party workers, in the ‘Azadi Gaurav Yatra’ march. The march began from the Congress party headquarters to Gandhi Smriti on Tees January Road, the place where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.

Congress workers raised slogans like “ Bharat Mata Ki Jai“, “ Amar shaheedon tumhe naman“ (salutation to martyrs) and “Rahul tum sangharsh karo, hum tumhare saath hain“ (Rahul, fight on, we are with you) during the march.

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