CPP to take call on role for Rahul if he is firm on quitting

Congress workers urge him to rethink resignation.

May 29, 2019 09:57 pm | Updated May 30, 2019 01:02 am IST - New Delhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. File

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. File

The Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) is likely to meet on Saturday ahead of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha.

The meeting is likely to clarify what role Rahul Gandhi is expected to play if he sticks to his decision to quit as party president.

Last Saturday, Mr. Gandhi announced to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) that he would step down as the party president, adding his decision was not negotiable.

In a sign that the leadership crisis may have eased a bit, Mr. Gandhi on Tuesday congratulated Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik on Twitter for assuming the office of the Odisha Chief Minister for a record fifth term. “Congratulations to Naveen Patnaik ji on being sworn in as CM of Odisha for a record 5th term. This is indeed an incredible achievement. My best wishes to him and to the people of Odisha,” he tweeted.

Many within the Congress interpreted this as a sign that the Congress chief was willing to give time to work out an alternative plan.

But efforts are on to persuade him to change his mind. From Rajasthan to Tamil Nadu, Goa to Himachal Pradesh, Congress State units passed unanimous resolutions for Mr. Gandhi to stay on.

The CWC had already passed a resolution to this effect and even asked him to carry out an overhaul of the party in the way he liked.

On Wednesday, The Hindu had reported that Mr. Gandhi may agree to oversee the party’s restructuring exercise but is still firm on stepping down as the party chief.

Delhi Congress workers including former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, however, gathered outside Tughlak Lane residence of Mr. Gandhi to urge him to rethink his decision.

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