New Delhi: The Congress has told members of its apex decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), to ‘not leave Delhi’ as an emergency meeting may be convened at any moment, ThePrint has learnt.
Leaders in the party have also reached out to general secretaries to find out their ‘top four choices’ for the post of president, to be submitted in a sealed envelope. “Ghulam Nabi called me about my opinion on the same, and I have already informed him,” a Congress general secretary confirmed to ThePrint on the condition of anonymity.
The party has around 13 general secretaries.
Senior Congress leaders had earlier reached out to state Congress unit presidents and the state in-charges for their preferences. “When someone like an Ahmed Patel or Ghulam Nabi Azad calls, people take them seriously,” a senior Congress leader told ThePrint on the condition of anonymity. “They feel that they have the blessing of the Gandhi family; those who aren’t part of the coterie, don’t seem to count.”
The Congress has been gripped by leadership crisis ever since party president Rahul Gandhi announced his decision to step down as its president taking ‘responsibility’ for the Lok Sabha debacle, despite attempts by various senior leaders to convince him otherwise.
Since then, the names of many senior leaders such as Mukul Wasnik, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Mallikarjun Kharge and Sachin Pilot have been floated as prospective successors to Gandhi.
Elect interim chief ‘without delay’
After Gandhi announced his intentions, party veterans like Karan Singh and Janardhan Dwivedi have urged the Congress to elect an interim president “without delay”. Singh also called on the party to elect four working presidents for each zone to enthuse it with young blood.
Singh’s statement came less than a week after Gandhi made public his letter of resignation and urged the CWC to convene and elect a new chief.
There has also been a spate of resignations by senior Congress leaders, including UP (West) in-charge Jyotiraditya Scindia and Mumbai party chief Milind Deora. The leaders cited Gandhi’s call for “accountability” and took responsibility for the party’s 2019 poll defeat.
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