The leadership “crisis” in the Congress may have eased as party president Rahul Gandhi seems set to continue for the next three months to oversee a restructuring exercise before stepping down.
Sources indicate that the party leadership may have persuaded him to stay on until a clear roadmap for its revival has been formulated.
Support from allies
While there was no official word on it, the Congress’s new formula comes on a day when its allies Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) endorsed Mr. Gandhi’s leadership and urged him to continue.
The newly elected Lok Sabha member from Wayanad is also expected to firm up his plan to visit Kerala and thank the voters.
Last Saturday, Mr. Gandhi announced his decision to quit at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting and had made it clear that his decision was “non-negotiable”.
And in a rare outburst, he blamed senior leaders including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram of putting personal interests above the party’s as their sons were contesting the Lok Sabha election.
On Tuesday, Mr. Gandhi had a limited interaction with party colleagues and met general secretary K.C. Venugopal and communication head Randeep Surjewala.
Though Mr. Gehlot and his deputy, Sachin Pilot, reached Mr. Gandhi’s 12 Tughlaq Lane residence for a meeting in the morning, party sources said they only met Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Congress sources maintain that Mr. Gandhi was firm on stepping down as party president but he would take on an important role.
RJD veteran Lalu Prasad said Mr. Gandhi’s offer to step down would not only be suicidal for his party but for all the social and political forces battling against the Sangh Parivar.