The Congress party seems to be ready to make a change in its leadership soon as the Congress Working Committee (CWC) will have an important meeting on Monday. In the meeting, it is speculated that the party could announce the date of Rahul Gandhi’s promotion as the president. In the meeting, the dates for the party’s organisational elections could also be decided.
The sources in the party have confirmed that Mullappally Ramachandran headed central election authority has submitted many schedules to the Congress president. The process of election will take 12 to 14 days. This will cover all the major dates, from notification to nomination, withdrawal, scrutiny, and the actual election.
The party’s working committee is likely to decide the time frame of the election but sources have said that Rahul Gandhi may take charge of the party over before the first phase of polling in Gujarat, on December 9. According to a senior leader who told the Indian Express that Rahul Gandhi could be announced as the party president by the end of November.
As for Sonia Gandhi, her role post the announcement of Rahul Gandhi is not clear yet. The CWC is likely to decide the role of Sonia Gandhi in another meeting later. Sources have confirmed that the Sonia Gandhi would be a figurehead. She could continue as chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party.
Since 1998, Sonia Gandhi has been in charge of the Congress party. She is now the longest-serving president of the party. In November 2016, the CWC asked Rahul to take over the party but Rahul Gandhi decided to follow the election route. The delay over the over Rahul’s elevation has been talked about a lot in the party.
But while the election process began months ago and went largely as per schedule, the last leg — the election of the party chief — had been delayed. Though this was attributed to the leadership’s preoccupation with the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat elections, most senior leaders were of the view that Rahul should be elevated before the Gujarat polls.
Rahul, who entered politics in 2004, was appointed the vice-president of the party in 2013. He has been virtually running the party for some time since ill-health forced Sonia to take a back seat. Lately, he has also led the Congress campaign in Gujarat from the front and has been strident in his attacks on the Narendra Modi government.
“Nation stands with Rahul Gandhi as he raises issues concerning the problems faced by the common man today,” said Shobha Oza, Congress spokesperson.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that each defeat of Congress party is directly proportional to Rahul Gandhi’s elevation.
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Praising Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, said that the BJP team’s presence in Gujarat is a clear sign that the party is of Rahul Gandhi.