Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday made it clear that Manmohan Singh will lead the party till 2014 and that PM and Sonia Gandhi enjoyed an unparalleled relationship.
Congress spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi clarified that Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh shared a perfect relationship and also sought to scotch reports about the Congress high command was contemplating a leadership change at the Centre.
“There cannot be any better relationship between a party president and a PM,” he said.
“Reports about differences between PM and Sonia Gandhi are a rumour and disinformation, Congress condemns it,” he added.
He also said that there was no doubt that ‘Manmohan Singh will remain PM till 2104’.
The Congress leader was forced to clarify the party’s stand against the background of reports doing rounds that a section of the party wanted to replace Manmohan Singh as PM before the Monsoon Session of Parliament. The name of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi along with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister AK Antony was doing the rounds to replace Manmohan Singh.
The talks of rift between the party and the government surfaced after it was reported that the PM was reluctant to sack former Law Minister Aswani Kumar and former Rail Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal after the matter of them misusing their power and position came to light. Especially in the case of Ashwani Kumar it was said that the PM was keen that he be shifted to a less important portfolio.
It was also said that the two ministers were ultimately sacked after Sonia Gandhi intervened in the matter and put her foot down, as the continuance of both of them in office was seriously denting party’s image and credibility.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties, especially the BJP has been asking Manmohan Singh to explain his position regarding the alleged vetting of coal scam probe report by Aswani Kumar and an official each from the PMO and coal ministry. The BJP has infact gone on record to say that the PM must ‘introspect’ and resign taking moral responsibility for wrongdoings, if any.
In a related development, when asked about dual power centre template by a news channel, Congress leader Anil Shastri said, “I will subscribe to the view that Digvijay Singh had taken. I would like a single power centre, much like it was during Indira Gandhi’s time.”