The Congress Parliamentary Party is likely to take place in the first week of June and only then there will be a clarity on the role Rahul Gandhi wants to play in the party.
The crisis in the Congress party showed no signs of easing on Tuesday with its president Rahul Gandhi adamant on his decision to relinquish the post. According to a report in The Indian Express, Rahul on Tuesday stayed way from meeting party leaders, except a few including his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. When top party leaders who reached his residence to meet him, Rahul fielded his sister Priyanka to hold talks with them.
Citing Congress sources, the IE report said that Rahul is firm on his stand that a non-Gandhi should take over as the president of the Congress. He, however, has indicated that he will continue till a suitable replacement is found. Sources told IE that Rahul has given a month’s time to find a replacement, but party leaders feel that it could go beyond a month.
They also said that the Congress Parliamentary Party is likely to take place in the first week of June and only then there will be a clarity on the role Rahul wants to play in the party.
Sources told the newspaper that Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his deputy Sachin Pilot and AICC general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal went to meet Rahul Gandhi at his Tughlaq lane residence, but they only met Priyanka there and discussed the organisational matters. Apart from Sonia and Priyanka, Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala met Rahul on Tuesday, the report said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit said that it is difficult for party leaders to come to any conclusion now.
“We are scared and extremely upset that this is happening. The final decision has to be taken only by him. All senior leaders in the party are also meeting individually to find ways to convince the party president,” she told the daily.
With senior Congress leaders failing to persuade Rahul to take back his resignation and continue leading the party and revamp it at all levels as authorised by the CWC, a number of allies also stood by him on Tuesday.
RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and DMK’s MK Stalin asked Rahul not to quit. While Lalu said that Rahul’s offer to resign would be suicidal, Stalin told Congress president that he has won the hearts of the people though his party lost the general election.
The Congress party won just 52 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, eight more than its 2014 tally of 44. The party once again could not gain minimum required strength in the Lok Sabha to get the Leader of Opposition post.