Two more State units seek Rahul Gandhi’s return as Congress president

 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi walks with a supporter during the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Alappuzha distict of Kerala on September 18, 2022.

 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi walks with a supporter during the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Alappuzha distict of Kerala on September 18, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The chorus for former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to take back the reins of the party grew louder on Sunday with the Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) of Gujarat and Chhattisgarh joining Rajasthan in unanimously passing resolutions calling for Mr. Gandhi’s return at the helm.  

In Gujarat, the resolution was moved by State party chief Jagdish Thakor at the PCC’s executive meeting and all members supported it.  

“In one voice, we have moved a resolution that Rahul ji must take over as party chief and lead the party to the next parliamentary polls,” a party leader from the election-bound State said.  

 ‘Rahul must rethink’

Earlier, in Chhattisgarh — the only other State besides Rajasthan where the party is in power — Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel moved the resolution in Raipur on Sunday which was supported by all the delegates. 

“Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan PCCs have passed these resolutions. It has been done in two States but if this proposal comes from other States too, then Rahul ji should rethink this matter. There is very little time left for the election [of the Congress president]. I believe that keeping in mind the feelings of the party workers, Mr. Gandhi will give his nod,” said Mr. Baghel.  

In response to a question on how such resolutions should be viewed in the light of Mr. Gandhi repeatedly expressing reluctance to return to the post, State Election Officer Husain Dalwai said it was the will of the party workers. “If he takes up the responsibility, it will be better for us and that is why such a resolution has been passed,” he said. 

For some like AICC’s Chhattisgarh in-charge P.L. Punia, the resolutions were an occasion to reiterate their loyalty to the Gandhi family. Mr. Punia said the party could not “pick any one from the street and make them the president”.  

As many as 310 delegates were present at the Chhattisgarh meeting, while the Gujarat Congress did not disclose the number.  

Both the PCCs also passed resolutions authorising Congress President Sonia Gandhi to reshuffle the State units as part of the exercise to overhaul the party’s structure nationally. A similar resolution was passed in Madhya Pradesh too on Saturday. However, the MPPCC did not pass a resolution calling for Mr. Gandhi’s return at the helm. Following Rajasthan’s move, the party’s Central Election Authority chairman, Madhusudan Mistry, had told The Hindu that the PCC resolution would not have any bearing on the presidential polls.  

Signature campaign

With less than a week left for the election process to kick off, a group of young Congress leaders have started a signature campaign, appealing to the presidential candidates to “undertake a public pledge to involve party members from block committees up to the CWC and implement the Udaipur Declaration in entirety within the first 100 days of assuming office”. The initial signatories to the campaign include K. Raju, Praveen Chakravarty, Meenakshi Natarajan,  Prakash Joshi, Sachin Rao, Jothimani and Harshwardhan Sapkal. 

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2022 9:03:01 am |