Make Sharad Pawar chief after merging NCP with Congress: Ramdas Athawale

by Times of India

MUMBAI: Observing that

Sonia Gandhi

and

Rahul Gandhi

are not keen on donning the mantle of Congress president, Union minister

Ramdas Athawale

on Saturday suggested the NCP be merged with the grand old party and

Sharad Pawar

be made new chief of the merged entity.

The Republican Party of India (A) president also said that such decision should be taken jointly by the Congress and Pawar.

“Currently, Rahul and Sonia Gandhi are not keen on becoming the Congress president. It is my instruction to Congress of getting NCP merged and making Sharad Pawar party president. The decision should be jointly taken by Pawar and the Congress,” Athawale tweeted.

Athawale’s merger suggestion came against the backdrop of a leadership churn in the Congress, with a group of leaders demanding a “full-time and active leadership”.

In a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held last month, party leaders urged Sonia Gandhi to continue as its interim chief till an AICC session can be convened and authorised her to effect necessary organisational changes to deal with the challenges facing the party.

Pawar had quit the Congress in 1999 over the issue of ‘foreign origin’ of Sonia Gandhi and formed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

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