New Delhi, March 13 – A day after former prime minister Manmohan Singh was summoned by a local court in a coal block allocation case, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday put her party’s weight behind him by leading a group of over 100 senior leaders, who marched to his residence from the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters.
“We offer our unstinting support and are behind him. We shall fight this not only legally but with all our means at our command,” Sonia told reporters. “We have no doubt that he will be vindicated,” she said.
Sources informed that Sonia’s gesture was to send a strong message to the party’s rank and file that she would firmly back her confidante Singh, who headed the previous UPA government for a decade from 2004 to 2014.
This was also a message to Singh’s many detractors in the party and to debunk any impression that he is fighting a lone battle. Sonia wanted to show that the Congress must back the former prime minister fully, especially at a time when the chips are down and the party faces an agressive BJP government at the Centre.
Congress sources said the solidarity march was Sonia’s way of responding to the BJP, which had targeted the ‘grand old party’ over the summons. “The march of solidarity was to show that the party is solidly behind the former prime minister,” Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge told Mail Today.
“I am more than pleased and we will fight this case to the best of our ability,” a beaming Singh said later. Sonia also consulted the party’s best legal brains, including former union minister P. Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal on how to deal with the summon.