Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the former party Chief Rahul Gandhi have refused to be part of the process that selects next party president
Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi told reporters that they have decided to stay out of the consultation process for the selection of the next party president. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has formed five groups for further consultations. Senior Congress leader AK Anthony and other leaders such as Mallikarjun Kharge, Motilal Vora, PL Punia, RPN Singh and Akhilesh Pratap Singh attended the CWC meeting today.
Speaking to reporters after the CWC meeting, Sonia Gandhi said, “The process to choose the president has started. Rahul and I are not part of this process. Our names were included by mistake”. On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi averred that he is travelling to Kerala to take stock of the flood situation in the state.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has said that the two leaders have refused to be part of the process in order to keep the selection ‘transparent’ and ‘uninfluenced’. “They didn’t want their opinions influence other members in the group,” he opined.
Another meeting of the CWC will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday to decide who the party president will be. If party leaders do not reach a consensus by Saturday evening, another meeting will be held on Sunday.
Several party leaders, including Shashi Tharoor and Abhishek Singhvi, have asserted that the delay in the selection of the Congress chief is harming the party. Tharoor said that many parliamentarians are “upset with the state of affairs” in the party.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi declined request to continue as the party chief and stayed firm on his resignation. Gandhi had resigned as the party president after taking responsibility for the party’s loss in the Lok Sabha Elections.