Uncertainty looms over Rahul Gandhi’s appointment as party chief; Priyanka Vadra becomes active to salvage party.

 

A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) may be convened soon to decide whether Rahul Gandhi will be taking over the charge of the party or someone else will be given this responsibility.

According to sources, the top Congress body CWC may meet in the third week of this month. A date will be decided after Rahul Gandhi returns from abroad. The Central Election Authority of the party has already submitted its report to the interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

A section of the party is keen on having a one-day session of the party during the Budget session in February for this purpose. However, sources believe that much will depend on Rahul Gandhi’s decision.

There are two lines of opinion in the party. One, if Rahul Gandhi is ready, then he should immediately become president and put in place a new team. Second, if Rahul Gandhi does not want to be at the helm, then he should allow a non-Gandhi to be the party chief and run the party from behind the curtains.

Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has become active to salvage the party. She is engaged in dialogues with “reliable” party leaders.

Rahul Gandhi’s sudden departure abroad has raised several questions within the organisation. He has gone on a foreign a trip at a time when debate is going on over the party leadership. Moreover, all is not well between Rahul Gandhi and the disgruntled leaders.

Despite pressure from the veterans, Rahul Gandhi does not want to remove the younger leaders that he had appointed in various departments. Leaders close to the Gandhi family believe that those who are applying pressure on Rahul Gandhi are doing so because of their own interest.

Such disgruntled leaders are being linked to the BJP in some way. At the same time, the Gandhi family does not want to give the dissenters any opportunity to push their agenda. Hence, AICC office-bearers are also not taking any decisions. All this has led to confusion in the party, with the result that the Congress is yet to get down to the business of formulating a strategy for the five states, including West Bengal, that are going to elections soon.

No decision is in place till date regarding the appointments in the Rajasthan unit of the Congress. Rajasthan PCC chief, Govind Singh Dotasra, has been visiting Delhi for some time now, seeking to form his team, but to no avail. Several leaders want the uncertainty to end with the appointment of Rahul Gandhi as president. They want Rahul Gandhi to constitute his team so that things can move ahead.

The other way out is that the reins of the party should be handed over to a leader close to the Gandhis. The name of Ashok Gehlot is doing the rounds for that. But the Gandhi family would like him to continue as Chief Minister of Rajasthan given the politically fluid situation there.

A Congress Working Committee meeting is what is being looked forward to so that the president can be appointed.