Exactly a week after it suffered a humiliating defeat in the hand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress party, the oldest political party in the country, on Thursday morning said that it will not send any representatives for television debates for a month. The decision was announced by Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a tweet.
“Congress has decided to not send spokespersons on television debates for a month. All media channels/editors are requested to not place Congress representatives on their shows,” Surjewala said.
The development comes in the backdrop of the party’s drubbing in the general elections where it won just 52 seats, eight more than its 2014 tally of 44. Since then, questions in media have been raised over party president Rahul Gandhi’s leadership who has offered to resign from the post. However, his resignation has been unanimously rejected by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) which also authorised him to undertake organisational changes following the loss in the elections.
However, reports have been doing the rounds that Rahul is adamant on his decision to relinquish the Congress’ president chair, forcing senior party leaders to persuade him to reverse his decision.
Meanwhile, a meeting of Congress Parliamentary Party will be held on June 1 and a decision on the new leader of the party in the Lok Sabha is likely to be taken at it. The meeting will be presided over by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The meeting will be attended by all the newly-elected MPs and the Rajya Sabha members. Reports say that Rahul Gandhi may also address the meeting.
Last week, Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav had barred all party spokespersons from taking party in television debates with immediate effect. Yadav took this decision after his party won just five seats in the Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh’s quota of 80 seats. Yadav felt that SP spokespersons had failed to effectively articulate the vision on tv channels.