Sunday, October 2, 2022

Gehlot makes strong pitch for Rahul to become Cong chief

Making a strong pitch for Rahul Gandhi to assume the mantle of Congress president, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said if that happens the party will be strengthened and remain united to meet challenges.
Gehlot, who is himself seen as a front-runner for the post if Gandhi does not relent to the appeals by party rank and file to take charge, said the biggest quality of the Gandhi family is that they take decisions in the interest of the party.
“Why does every party member say that Rahul Gandhi should become party chief. Today also, why Congress men and women are after Rahul that he becomes president, because if he becomes president, the party will remain united,” he told a press conference here ahead of the launch of the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. The Congress people are of the opinion that Rahul should become party president, he said.
“We lost an election in 2019 and he (Gandhi) resigned taking moral responsibility. He had said in CWC that he will do what the party asks him to do but does not want to be chief. We want that he becomes party chief and all of us workers will work together under his leadership and leave no stone unturned, the party will move forward, will be strengthened and meet the challenges,” Gehlot said. Hailing the Gandhi family for its contributions, Gehlot said that for 30 years no member of the Gandhi family became prime minister and it was not as if they did not get a chance as Sonia Gandhi did but she made Manmohan Singh the prime minister.
She came into politics to unite the party which was disintegrating, Gehlot said.
“We had to say to her that ‘if you don’t accept and the Congress disintegrates, history will not forgive you’, we had to say that for her to come into politics and then see how she gained so much respect in the next 20-24 years,” the senior Congress leader said.
Several Congress leaders have publicly exhorted Rahul Gandhi to return as the party chief. However, uncertainty and suspense continue on the issue.
Several party insiders say Rahul Gandhi is persisting with his stance that he will not be the All India Congress Committee (AICC) president.
Gehlot in the past had sought to play down reports about him being the frontrunner for the Congress president’s post saying efforts would be made till the last minute to persuade Rahul Gandhi to take over the reins of the party again.
Rahul Gandhi had resigned as Congress president after the party suffered its second consecutive defeat in the 2019 parliamentary elections. Sonia Gandhi who took over the reins of the party again as interim president had also offered to quit in August 2020 after an open revolt by a section of leaders, referred to as G-23, but the CWC had urged her to continue.
The Congress has announced the detailed schedule for the AICC president polls with the notification to be out on September 22. The process for filing nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to 30. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8 and the election, if required, will be held on October 17. The results will be out on October 19.