New Delhi: The Congress has set in motion the process to elect a new party president, but will hold state-wise consultations with office-bearers over the next few days to ensure that the process is “democratic”.
At a meeting of general secretaries, state in-charges, state Congress presidents, Congress Legislative Party leaders, chairpersons of AICC departments and cells and Congress MPs, outgoing party president Rahul Gandhi said there will be a new chief in the next two or three days.
“Responding to some disgruntled leaders who brought up the fact that a new president hadn’t been elected yet, Rahul Gandhi said the issue will be addressed in the next two or three days,” a senior leader who attended the meeting told ThePrint.
The leader quoted above said these consultations will be done in order to involve more people and make the process “democratic”.
“Rahul Gandhi thinks we need to involve more people before a decision on the next chief can be reached to make the process democratic,” another senior leader at the meeting told ThePrint.
Gandhi also added that the consultations will begin at 11:30 am, shortly after the Congress Working Committee meeting Saturday. There is no decision yet on who will chair these meetings.
The meeting was attended by around 90 Congress leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ashok Gehlot, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidambaram and Sachin Pilot. It was chaired by the party’s secretary (organisation), K.C. Venugopal. Chidambaram and Azad briefed the leaders on the party’s stance on the BJP government’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Priyanka, who was sitting downstairs, was asked to join the other general secretaries on the stage by Azad.
Party should’ve discussed Triple Talaq & 370
The second leader quoted Gandhi as saying the party had become “complacent” and got into a “comfort zone”, adding that it needed to act faster on issues.
“After the PCC chiefs of Telangana, Assam, Tripura and Punjab raised their concerns about the delay in strategising, Rahul Gandhi accepted it was a concern,” the leader said.
Sunil Jakhar, the Punjab PCC chief, said the party should have met sooner to strategise on how to counter the BJP on issues like triple talaq and the abrogation of Article 370.
“Rahul Gandhi said that he did realise that the party should have discussed the issues before,” the second leader said.
Gandhi, however, urged the leaders to not lose hope and remember that even though people may not appreciate the party’s stand right now, they will see its benefits later.
Reacting to the opposition from within the Congress on the party’s stand on Article 370, Gandhi said leaders were allowed to have their personal opinions.
“Although he took no names, it was obvious he was referring to Deepender Hooda and Jyotiraditya Scindia,” the second leader said.
At Tuesday’s CWC meeting, both former MPs had taken on the party’s old guard for having a misguided stand on the issue, and its inability to sense the public mood.