Rahul Gandhi’s resignation threat pays off; leaders fall over one another to dissuade him

If Rahul Gandhi stays hell-bent on resigning, the Congress would bear the look of the UPA government that had a nominal and a real head

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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is firm on his decision to resign. According to sources, he has clearly told the party leaders that for the post of the president some other option has to be found. But the party wants to dissuade him, the prospect for which is getting bleaker by the hour.

Another CWC meeting will be convened in four days, where Congress politicians would mull over Rahul’s ‘replacement’.

Beeline of leaders to dissuade Rahul

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi and Congress spokesman Randeep S Surjewala went to the residence of Rahul Gandhi to make him change his decision.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, leaders KC Venugopal and Pramod Tiwari have each paid a visit to Rahul Gandhi. Gehlot had had a 45-minute meeting with the party president, as has been expected since yesterday.

Rajya Sabha MP from Congress Pramod Tiwari, after meeting Priyanka Gandhi, said on Tuesday that Rahul Gandhi should not resign. He said this was no time to resign. The Congress, he said, should rather concentrate on making a fresh start.

RJD leader Manoj Jha said this would be Rahul’s own decision. “But I believe that the role of the opposition to play the role of a chowkidar (watchdog) has begun and we are playing resignation-resignation!” he said, adding, “We must not fail those who have trusted us.”

Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth, who entered politics tentatively two years ago, has said that Rahul Gandhi should prove himself instead of resigning. The opposition is as important as the government in a democracy, he added.

RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav has said that Rahul’s offer of resignation is suicidal. The only goal of the opposition parties was to remove the BJP but it failed to make this a national debate, he said. The result of one election in a multi-dimensional and diverse country like India can never change the truth, Yadav added.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has said that Rahul Gandhi is the most suitable person to take the party out of the present crisis after the Lok Sabha election. Tharoor said that this was not the time to nurse the wounds; the Congress will have to prepare for the upcoming elections to be held in the States.

Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said it is unlikely that Rahul Gandhi would change his mind though he wanted the dynasty to remain the president of the Congress. Gogoi added that Rahul was not happy with some senior party leaders. He said that the party president wanted them to work hard but they did not fulfil his expectations.

Sources say that the Congress is now coming to terms with the “insistence” of Rahul Gandhi on his resignation and that the prospects of a new Congress president are now real. Of course, the candidate for the party presidency has to be approved by Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, the sources added.

This implies that the Congress will now bear the look of the UPA government, where the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the nominal head while the person who had forwarded his candidacy, alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, was the real head.

Sources have told Sirf News that Rahul Gandhi has instructed party leaders to choose their new president within a month.

Congress is currently struggling to save its government from the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka. In the Lok Sabha election, the Congress has lost not only nationwide but also the Nehru-Gandhi family bastion of Amethi.