Congress leadership flux continues, hunt on for options

New Delhi, Jun 11 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 6/11/2019 12:12:06 PM IST

Congress Party’s leadership dilemma is becoming a source of acute anxiety for the party rank and file with neither leaders nor workers aware of the ongoing intrigues.

With no hand on real-time information, party persons are busy hazarding guesses as to who could succeed Rahul Gandhi as party president after he told the working committee on May 25 “to find a non-Gandhi” chief. An AICC source today said, “No one expect the family knows what is going on at present or what will happen in the future.”
The remark sounds ironical given Rahul Gandhi’s urge to install a non-Gandhi in his place but common knowledge in Congress is that the decision on replacement of Rahul will come from within the family and find endorsement from the wider party later.
This appears increasingly evident as there is no visible sign of any discussion on Rahul Gandhi’s successor. Since the May 25 CWC meeting, Rahul Gandhi has confined himself indoors declining all appointments save the one he had with Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu yesterday.
The only other occasions where he got involved was – when he addressed the Congress Parliamentary Party recently; when he met a visiting Chinese delegation at his mother and UPA chief’s house and when he recently visited his Lok Sabha segment Wayanad.
Sources said options before the party were limited. “There can be a party president along with a collective of few leaders working with him or there could be party chief and Rahul Gandhi could find himself another role by way of structural overhaul of the Congress which the CWC authorised him to do. It’s all in the realm of speculation right now. But one thing is clear. As the flux continues, Sonia Gandhi’s role becomes larger and apparent,” a senior party leader said.
A Congress insider added that once a decision is taken on the replacement of Rahul Gandhi, the new structural changes can be implemented after the unanimous approval of the Congress Working Committee.
“Except five times in the Congress history, party presidents have been elected through unanimous approval of the CWC. Once the CWC endorses a name, the AICC Plenary stamp remains mere formality,” said a Congress veteran.
There’s also a clear understanding within the Congress that any replacement to Rahul Gandhi would have the backing of Sonia Gandhi.
Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi will be visiting her parliamentary segment of Rae Bareli tomorrow to thank her constituency.

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