Rahul Gandhi not to take reins of the Congress this year.


New Delhi: Despite a growing clamour within the Congress to find a full-time chief through an internal election, Rahul Gandhi is not going be at the helm this year. This has paved the way for Sonia Gandhi continuing as the interim president of the Congress party.

Sonia Gandhi had been appointed interim chief by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on 10 August last year after Rahul Gandhi stepped down following an 18-month presidential stint taking responsibility for the party’s second consecutive defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.

A letter will be sent to Election Commission of India (ECI) informing the body about the fact that Sonia Gandhi will continue to be interim chief of Congress till the end of this year.

According to sources, a CWC is being constituted. AICC session is not being convened in view of the corona pandemic. Sources said  that Rahul Gandhi’s trust on the team of youth leaders has been eroded following departure of half a dozen young leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ashok Tanwar and Aditi Singh, and also in the wake of Sachin Pilot going rebel.

Therefore, there may be big changes in the new CWC. The party’s state in-charges will also be changed. Trying to revive the party, the Congress leadership will make big changes in the organisation, sources said. The party is taking a lesson from the Rajasthan crisis when along with Sachin Pilot, several leaders of frontal organisations had also gone rebellious. The party is tightening grip on state units so that a Rajasthan-like situation does not arise there. According to sources, Rahul Gandhi is now relying on the leaders who are in the core group of Sonia Gandhi. Ahmed Patel, who was instrumental in resolving Rajasthan crisis, has become hyper active. He is said to have met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at 10 Janpath residence on Friday when discussion was held on Rajasthan affairs.

In fact, questions are being raised regarding the weakness of the organisation. Even working of general secretaries is also being questioned by the rank and file. Ghulam Nabi Azad has been given the responsibility of shaping up the new CWC. Assessment of existing members of CWC is being done, following which the top decision-making body will come into a shape. Sonia Gandhi will give it the final nod.

The states whose party in-charges may be changed include Punjab, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Assam and West Bengal. Some of the general secretaries may be relieved of their responsibilities.

Speculation is rife about changes to be made in the media department. General secretary in charge of organisation may also be axed. “A burnt child dreads the fire.” This is exactly what the Congress is following now after the Rajasthan crisis. It is quite cautious for Jharkhand and Punjab. Some dissenting voices are coming from Punjab. The leadership has asked Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to tackle it effectively.