18 maggio 2004
Donne e Potere: Sonia Gandhi, nata in Italia, alla guida dell'India... purtroppo no
«Devo umilmente declinare l'invito»
Sonia Gandhi rinuncia e fa il nome del premier
La vedova di Rajiv, non gradita come primo ministro perché italiana, ha deciso di arrendersi. Al suo posto Manmohan Singh
NEW DELHI - Sonia Gandhi rinuncia a guidare il governo. Di più: propone Manmohan Singh come nuovo primo ministro indiano, escludendo di fatto di essere lei a ricoprire quella carica, anche dopo aver vinto le recenti elezioni legislative. Lo ha detto Saman Khurshid, uno dei leader del Congresso. Singh è considerato l'architetto delle riforme economiche del Paese e il suo nome è stato fatto ufficialmente dopo che si sono allungati i tempi per la formazione del nuovo governo in India.
Dopo la vittoria del Partito guidato da Sonia Gandhi, infatti, si è fatta rovente la discussione sull'opportunità di avere, a New Delhi, «un primo ministro straniero». Di fronte alle polemiche, nient'affatto messe a tacere dalla travolgente vittoria elettorale, sulla sua origine italiana, Sonia Gandhi ha deciso quindi di rinunciare a guidare il nuovo governo indiano. Ma il Partito del Congresso - le cui sorti sono state risollevate dall'azione politica della Gandhi - continua nonostante tutto a fare pressione su di lei perché accetti comunque l'incarico. Secondo Saman Khurshid sarà «molto difficile» che la vedova dell'ex premier Rajiv Gandhi cambi idea.
SUICIDI - «Se Sonia non diventa premier, moriremo, ci uccideremo». Con questa dichiarazione estrema una ventina di sostenitori di Sonia Gandhi intendono supportare la sua elezione a premier, messa in discussione nelle ultime ore. Il gruppo, insieme ad altri manifestanti, sta dimostrando davanti alla villa della famiglia Gandhi a New Delhi.
L'INCONTRO - Stamane la Gandhi, nel palazzo presidenziale Rashtrapati Bawan, aveva incontrato il capo dello Stato, il presidente Abdul Kalam: colloquio nel quale si era discusso della formazione del nuovo governo, ma dal quale l'«italiana» - come molti suoi avversari politici continuano a chiamare la vedova di Rajiv, il figlio di Indira Gandhi - non era uscita con l'incarico ufficiale di premier.
BORSA IN ALTO - La borsa di Bombay, reagendo alle voci di una possibile rinuncia di Sonia Gandhi alla nomina a primo ministro, si è impennata, dopo aver registrato la peggiore caduta della sua storia nella giornata di ieri. L’indice Senex ha guadagnato l’8,6% per chiudere provvisoriamente a 4.893,64 punti. Ieri la borsa aveva ceduto oltre il 15%, sulla base delle preoccupazioni degli investitori sulla partecipazione al governo di due partiti comunisti, che avrebbero potuto provocare la sospensione deel programma di privatizzazioni intrapreso negli ultimi anni. (18 maggio 2004 - Corriere.it)
Donne e Potere: Sonia Gandhi, nata in Italia, alla guida dell'India
Panorama, 18 Maggio 2004
I MOTIVI DELLA RINUNCIA
I motivi della rinuncia della Gandhi sono tutti nella cultura nazionale indiana e nella delicata transizione economica che vive il Paese: troppo difficile guidare un Paese che ti è in larga parte ostile; troppo complesso - a quanto fanno sapere fonti parlamentari indiane citate dalle agenzie di stampa - formare un governo di coalizione, con 19 partiti tra cui due partiti comunisti, dai quali gli investitori sembrano spaventati. Meglio dare un segnale rassicurante, facendo il nome di un tecnico al di sopra delle dispute politiche e capace di proseguire sulla strada delle riforme neoliberali avviate da BJP, come Manhoman Singh, ben visto dal Congresso e ben visto dagli investitori. E soprattutto indiano doc.
Sify news: Sonia's comments ambiguous: Cong leaders
Tuesday, 18 May , 2004, 23:11
New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi's cryptic comment that she should be trusted to take a decision on the Prime Ministership, was interpreted by Congress leaders as being ambiguous.
AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad said while a final decision has been left to her, she has been asked to reconsider by the party members who have authorised her to take the next step.
Congress sources said with this authorisation, Gandhi could, if she so deemed fit, decide to nominate anyone of her choice to fill the top slot.
"It is very difficult to interpret her concluding remarks," said senior leader R K Dhawan.
Congress leader from Maharashtra A R Antulay felt the whole issue "is still open" and that Gandhi would accept the unanimous view asking her to reconsider her decision.
Senior Congress leader Arjun Singh, who was the last speaker, told reporters later "I only trust that she does reconsider her decision."
Manmohan Singh, however did not react to repeated inquiries about his views on Gandhi's remarks.
Pranab Mukherjee also declined to comment and drove off.
Senior lawyer and Lok Sabha MP Kapil Sibal said "we believe that the Congress President will take the decision in the best interest of country and the party.
"Whatever decision she takes we will accept it including nominating another person for the prime ministership," he said adding that he did not consider another CPP would be necessary to elect another leader if she struck to her stand.
"Her views would be known very soon," Sibal said while observing "I think she will take the decision keeping in view the sentiments expressed by the party."
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister A R Antulay said "according to me the Congress President will reconsider her stand."
Azad, who led the Congress campaign in Andhra Pradesh, said that the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs have expressed the views and Gandhi has promised to take a view that she thought right. "Let us leave it to her," he said.
Renuka Chowdhury said "we believe that the Congress President is the best person to decide."
Asked why Gandhi had agreed to become leader of CPP and the coalition if she had no intention of becoming the Prime Minister, a senior party leader said she had been speaking about this to some of the party veterans for the last few days.
One of the prime considerations was that the BJP and its NDA allies would keep raking up the foreign origin issue which could embarrass the party as also the Congress partners and supporters.
Another factor taken into account by her was that the need of the hour was to ensure a stable, secular Government and all attempts at derailing this should be effectively thwarted.
The third reason was that both Rahul and Priyanka were against their mother taking up Prime Ministership in view of threat perceptions as also the fact that the family has suffered immensely with the assassination of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
The Indu Business Line
New Delhi , May 18
IN a day of high political drama that could have a major impact on the evolving power equations at the Centre, the Congress President and recently elected leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), Ms Sonia Gandhi, declined to assume the post of Prime Minister of the country. The name of the former Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is being talked about as a possible candidate for the post.
"I have often stated that the post of Prime Minister is not my aim. I was always certain that if ever I found myself in the position that I am in today I would follow my own inner voice. Today, that voice tells me I must humbly decline this post," she told an stunned gathering of Congress MPs at a CPP meeting at the Central Hall of Parliament.
However, the CPP ruled out any alternative choice and passed a unanimous resolution urging her to reconsider the decision. Ms Gandhi was virtually forced at the end to say that she would take a decision. "You must trust me."
Stating that power had never attracted her, she said that her aim was to defend the secular foundation of the country.
"We have waged a successful battle. But we have not won the war. That is a long and arduous struggle, and I will continue it with full determination."
Ms Gandhi's decision could turn out to be a masterstroke in defusing the rising crescendo of protest from leaders of the NDA who have threatened to launch a nationwide protest to protest the swearing in of a person of foreign origin as the Prime Minister.
Rumours of Ms Gandhi's reluctance to take up the PM's post were raging in political circles throughout the day, with speculations rife that she would propose the name of senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to don the mantle of leading the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
While Ms Gandhi claimed that it was her "inner conscience" that led her to take the decision to opt out, senior Left front leaders Mr Jyoti Basu and Mr Somnath Chatterjee said that the decision was taken under pressure from her children who feared that it could expose her life to risk.
While several UPA allies sent out messages that Ms Gandhi should reconsider her decision, the Left parties said that if Dr Singh emerges as the consensus CPP candidate for the PM's post they would have no hesitation to support him in forming a secular alliance.
Earlier in the day Ms Gandhi met the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who had invited her as the leader of the single largest party in the newly constituted Lok Sabha to assess the feasibility of her forming the next Government with the support of allies and other parties supporting from outside such as the Left parties and the Samajwadi Party.
Giving little indication of the impending political storm, Ms Gandhi came out of the meeting and informed waiting newspersons that another round of discussion would be held with the President on Wednesday on Government formation
The Hindu: Euphoria. anger and a sullen mood
By Our Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI, MAY 18. Passions ran high outside 10 Janpath, the residence of the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, this afternoon as news of her decision not to accept the prime ministership reached a large number of Congress supporters who had gathered there to celebrate their party's return to power.
Scenes of euphoria turned into angry protests against the Bharatiya Janata Party, particularly its leader, Sushma Swaraj, for "negating the people's mandate and showing disrespect to the Constitution." It all began around 2 p.m. when television channels aired the news of Ms. Gandhi's decision not to become the Prime Minister. It led to spontaneous reaction from the workers present there.
Workers of the Congress and its other wings, including the Indian Youth Congress, the Congress Seva Dal, the Mahila Congress and the National Students Union of India started flooding outside Ms. Gandhi's residence urging her to reverse her decision. While some workers sat on `dharna,' some climbed on the trees. The situation became tense when some workers even threatened to commit self-immolation. Amid all the chaos, the AICC secretary, Gangacharan Rajput, created a flutter by taking out his revolver and threatening to shoot himself. Not only were the party workers taken aback by this sudden development, a large number of security personnel present were also caught unawares. It took 15 minutes for the partymen and the police to overpower Mr. Rajput and end the drama. Slogans such as "Sonia lao-desh bachao," "Sonia nahin to koi nahin" and "Desh ke dushman desh mein-BJP ke bhesh nahin" and those against Sushma Swaraj rent the air as workers, including women, squatted on the road. Even senior Congress leaders had a tough time making their way to 10 Janpath, for "having failed to persuade Ms. Gandhi to change her decision."
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