Rahul Gandhi is still boss, says Cong; CWC to meet shortly to decide successor
Rahul Gandhi resignation: Congress leaders said that Gandhi’s resignation would first need to be accepted by the Congress Working Committee. A CWC meeting is expected to be convened soon.Updated: Jul 04, 2019 01:19 IST
Rahul Gandhi will continue to be the Congress chief until the party’s highest decision-making body accepts his resignation to begin the process for electing his successor, a Congress functionary said on Wednesday.
Gandhi offered to resign at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on May 25 after the party managed to win just 52 seats in April-May national polls. He had asked the CWC to appoint a new chief but the party’s highest decision-making body rejected the offer. Gandhi brought finality to his decision to quit on Wednesday when he tweeted a four-page farewell note.
“The general secretary in charge of organisation will first call a meeting of the CWC. If the CWC accepts his resignation, then an interim president will be appointed to supervise the election of the new chief,” the functionary said.
According to the Congress’s constitution, the party’s senior-most general secretary takes over as interim chief in case the incumbent resigns.
Motilal Vora, 90, who is the senior-most general secretary and in charge of administration, has rejected reports that he was being appointed as the interim Congress president. “I have no such information.”
Separately, Congress again appealed to Gandhi to reconsider his decision to quit on Wednesday. “We request Rahul Gandhi to lead from the front to take on the upcoming political challenges,” Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot told reporters in Jaipur. “Not just Rajasthan but people of India have asked him to change his mind, take back his resignation and work as president. We know his struggle.”
CWC member Jitin Prasada appealed to Gandhi to rethink. “Whatever he has written and party’s shortcomings, everything must be deliberated upon keeping the future in mind.”
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh expressed his disappointment over Gandhi’s move. “Rahul Gandhi should have continued to lead the party with the same dynamism and the fighting spirit with which he had steered the election campaign,” he said.
“It is a difficult time for the party, but together we will get through it to come out stronger and bigger with Rahul’s vision continuing to guide us.”
Former Union minister Salman Khurshid said it is very sad to see Gandhi quit. “He has put in enormous effort and at one point, we felt he caught the pulse and we saw a return of Congress. Even though he has quit as the president, he continues to be our leader,’’ he said. “Reluctantly we have to accept it. If he has announced it, his advice sadly has to be followed. We will put our heads together and do our best.”
Former Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said even after his resignation, Gandhi would remain the voice of the party’s workers.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot echoed Singh’s views. “We tried our best to persuade him. We hope he will continue to guide us in future and help Congress emerge stronger from this crisis,” he said.