Gandhi family not foisted on Congress: Jairam Ramesh

HYDERABAD: Justifying the “special place” of the Gandhi family in Congress owing to “historical reasons”, senior leader Jairam Ramesh has said both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have subjected themselves to “democratic processes” and were not hoisted on the party.

The former Union Minister said it was wrong to say that decision-making was heavily centralised in the party.

Ramesh said Congress president Sonia Gandhi takes inputs from different sources and then arrives at a decision.

“It’s been 18 years (from April 1998) since I have worked with her and I can claim fair amount of familiarity with her. She is the most democratic of the persons I have known…sometimes far too democratic,” he told PTI.

“She (Sonia) takes her time to arrive at a decision. She gets inputs from multiple sources, and ultimately she has to take a decision. She is the Congress President. How can you say it is centralised? She has to take a decision. Ten people cannot take a decision. One person has to take a decision,” he said.

On the “indispensability” of the Gandhis in Congress, the Rajya Sabha member said there are “historical reasons” for the special position that the family occupies in the party.

“Ultimately, the Gandhi family is accountable to the people. They come through a democratic process. To say that the Gandhi family is hoisted, it’s completely wrong. Because, ultimately, remember Indira Gandhi was defeated in 1977 and she came back in 1980,” he said.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are subjecting themselves to democratic processes in their respective constituencies, he said.

“They have by the dint of their service to the party and the country earned a niche for themselves in the party and our political system. And I see nothing wrong in that,” Ramesh added.