Faced with voices of dissent within the party and rising calls for a shuffle in ranks, the Congress party now looks set to elevate Vice-president Rahul Gandhi to the post of party president. According to sources, Rahul’s elevation could come as early as within this month.
Congress has finally decided to bite the bullet and given in to demands of bringing in the much-needed change following a series of defeats in national and state elections.
The development comes weeks after senior party leader Digvijaya Singh made a pitch for a ‘major surgery’ in the organisation after the party’s poor performance in the assembly polls.
Younger Congress aspirants are reportedly expected to get key positions in the party, whereas the older party functionaries will be asked to step down.
With Gandhi being elevated as party’s president, AICC reshuffle has also been predicted on the cards.
Younger Congress aspirants are reportedly expected to get key positions in the party, where as the older party functionaries will be asked to step down.
However, difference in opinion in this regard seems to exist within the party.
According to reports, most of the Congress veterans are uncomfortable with what some described as the Rahul’s brusque and impatient style of functioning and wish for incumbent president Sonia Gandhi to steer the helm of the party for some more time.
Earlier in May, party leader Jairam Ramesh had said that the Congress expects Rahul to take over as its chief this year.
Ramesh had made the remarks virtually dismissing reports that he would be projected as the chief ministerial candidate in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2017.
“Rahul Gandhi is MP from Amethi and Vice President of Congress. We all expect him to be the president of the Congress in 2016,” Ramesh had said at the AICC briefing.
Rahul was made party Vice President in January 2013 at the Jaipur Chintan shivir held over a year ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in which he was the “face” of the party.
Since then Rahul has been more active in the organisation, with his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi taking a backseat.
There has been talk since last year, soon after his return from his mysterious 56-day sabbatical, that Rahul would take over as the party chief soon.
Soon after the Assembly poll results in five states were out, the Congress virtually threw a protective ring around Rahul by rejecting suggestions that the party Vice President should accept blame for its debacle in four states.
“Every election has its own issues. We do not see state elections in terms of any individual — Tarun Gogoi or Oommen Chandy. We will analyse causes where we need to do better… We will discuss this in a cordial atmosphere…We reject this improper suggestion totally,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said.