From: S. Kalyanaraman >
Date: Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 8:43 AM
Subject: Fwd: PANIC in Congress. "I am demanding that Sonia Gandhi should go," says 82 yr old CWC member, G. Venkat Swamy
01 Feb 2011 08:10:59 PM IST
HYDERABAD: Congress Working Committee (CWC) member and senior party leader G.Venkat Swamy Tuesday demanded resignation of Sonia Gandhi as party president, blaming her for the mushrooming corruption scandals and poll reverses of the party in several states.
In his attack on the party chief, which came as a surprise for political observers, the veteran Andhra leader said Sonia Gandhi should step down and give chance to a new leader. Raising the issue of her foreign origin, he said the party needs a leader born in India.
The former union minister said corruption can be eliminated and the Congress party can be saved only if Gandhi steps down as the party president. "I am demanding that Sonia Gandhi should go," said the 82-year-old leader.
Blaming her for the defeat of the party in many states, he said if she continued as the party president, it would lose even the five states where it is currently in power.
"Congress has a glorious history of 125 years but see its plight today. Out of 29 states, it is in power in only five states and if Sonia Gandhi continues as party president, it will lose even those states," said Venkat Swamy.
He also termed as "shameful" the visit of senior party leader and Defence Minister A.K. Antony to the house of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) chief K.Chiranjeevi to seek his support for the Congress government in the state.
"It is shocking for a senior leader like me. As an envoy of Sonia Gandhi, Antony drove straight from the airport to Chiranjeevi's house. A party like the Congress is going with a begging bowl to the house of a 'nachne wala' (actor) who fought elections against the same Congress party," said the leader from Telangana.
He also alleged that when Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister, his friend and advisor K.V.P.Ramachandra Rao often visited Delhi to give "gifts" to Congress leaders.
Venkat Swamy said the Congress had deviated from the principles of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi and was now trying to join hands with anybody for power. "Victory or defeat is not important. Even Indira Gandhi lost but she never compromised on principles," he said.
The CWC member alleged that senior leader like him was being sidelined by Gandhi and was not being given an appointment. He claimed he enjoyed free access to top leaders like Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
"Who can expel me from the Congress party?" asked the veteran leader in reply to a query if he is not afraid of disciplinary action. He made it clear that he would remain in the party till his last breath.
"Nation is more important than son," he said to a query if he fears action against his son and party MP G.Vivek.
01 Feb 2011 09:25:05 PM IST
NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh G Venkat Swamy, who demanded the resignation of Sonia Gandhi as party chief, is in for serious trouble with the party high command taking a serious note of his strident criticism of her.
"We have taken note of it", party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said when asked about the Telangana leader's attack on Gandhi.
The 82-year old former Deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha had demanded that Italy-born Sonia Gandhi step down as party chief and make way for an "Indian".
In a no-holds-barred attack on Congress leadership, Venkat Swamy alleged corruption has grown and that the nation and party were suffering from various ills.
Congress sources said Venkat Swamy's attack needed to be seen in the light of the fact that he was soon going to be out of the Congress Working Committee which Gandhi is reconstituting.
The sources said the party chief has the powers to summarily expel a CWC member if he resorted to anti-party activities.
Talking separately, Party spokesman Manish Tewari said if Venkata Swamy had made such a statement it was "very unfortunate" and he should not have made such remarks.