Amid the political crisis in the party after the desertion of two high-profile leaders in Madhya Pradesh and now Rajasthan, Congress leaders are mulling to write a collective letter to the Congress Working Committee to elect or appoint a new full-time party president as Sonia Gandhi is set to complete one year as interim party chief.
Top sources said that the group of leaders has met at least twice to deliberate on the issues of party organisation and a draft letter is being prepared. One of the leaders who are privy to the developments confirmed the move. But the sources did not reveal the names as the group wants to have wider consultations on the issue.
However, the sources said, “the move is not against Rahul Gandhi as the only motive is to have a permanent president and there should be a clear line of command in the party.”
Anybody can become party president and it may well be Rahul Gandhi but if Rahul doesn’t come back then there should be no interference from his side as many Congress leaders are miffed with the meddling of Rahul’s office which often lacks clarity, said a source.
Those involved in the process of raising the issue with CWC are senior leaders of the party and have been Union ministers and MPs in the UPA government.
The Congress leaders assert that party control over leaders have weakened over years and thus it needs to be restructured and regional satraps are either trying to get hold of the party or taking another line, not in sync with the party.
Sonia Gandhi took charge of the party as interim president since August last year after Rahul Gandhi resigned on being decimated in the general election. Rahul had blamed senior party leaders for his defeat in the election accusing the seniors of only working for their kin and not taking interest in the party.
Rahul had also indicated that he may not return to the post anytime soon. “You, please read my letter that I wrote one year ago on that issue,” he said last month in response to a question on the topic.
Congress MPs in Lok Sabha had demanded that Rahul should be brought back as party president at the party meeting held on July 11.
Ahead of that meeting, senior leader Digvijaya Singh had said in a tweet “The Congress leadership must take up the challenge of building the party organisation brick by brick. This is where we need the dynamism of Rahulji and Priyankaji. I am sure both of them have the guts and courage to take on Modi-Shah twins.”
Amid a political crisis in Rajasthan and border stand-off with China, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of the party’s Rajya Sabha members at 10.30 a.m. here on Thursday.
It will be the first meeting of the party’s new Rajya Sabha members, who took oath on July 22. The number of Congress members in the Upper House has come down.
According to sources, the meeting has been called to also discuss other issues, like the Covid-19 pandemic and unemployment.
Earlier, Sonia Gandhi had called a meeting of the party’s Lok Sabha members.
At the virtual meeting, the party MPs had demanded re-appointment of Rahul Gandhi as the party chief as the former party chief kept quiet. The issue by raised by Gaurav Gogoi and Manickam Tagore.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at the June Congress Working Committee meeting had raised the same demand. (IANS)