Congress may get a non-Gandhi president next month

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Congress party may have a non-Gandhi party president nearly three decades after the last non-Gandhi president, Sitaram Kesri, was unceremoniously removed from office when the leadership decided to anoint Sonia Gandhi in his place.

Sources said Rahul Gandhi refused to return as Congress president. Sonia Gandhi, who has been holding the post as interim chief, has also expressed her desire not to continue in the post citing health reasons. The decision taken by Rahul and Sonia has sent party managers in a tizzy. Though efforts are still on to persuade Rahul to lead the party, insiders say he “does not appear in a mood to relent.”

There is a sense of déjà vu among party leaders. When Rahul had resigned taking responsibility for the party’s defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the CWC had unanimously rejected his resignation. But he had refused to continue. He had also said that it was not necessary that the party president should be from the Gandhi family.

Party leaders have started discussing other options. Names of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, party general secretary Mukul Wasnik, former Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar, former finance minister P Chidambaram, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are doing the rounds.

The younger lot too is hopeful of being catapulted to the top post. But desertion by young leaders such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada, Sushmita Deb, RPN Singh, Kuldeep Bishnoi, Ashok Tanwar, Ashok Chowdhary, etc has made party managers wary of betting on young leaders.

ALSO READ | Congress president Sonia Gandhi forms three groups to chart road ahead for party

The group of 23 rebels, some of whom have made up with the party leadership, is also likely to throw its hat in the ring by fielding candidates for the posts of president and CWC members.   

The next party president will have to be an elected one as the process for the election is scheduled to set into motion on Sunday. The process would start on August 21 and conclude with the election of the new president on September 20, 2022.

The CWC will be called next week where the chairman of the central election committee Madhusudan Mistry will present the fresh set of electoral rolls for the election of new Congress president and the members of the CWC.

The process of preparation of electoral rolls was started last year. The Congress president is elected by about 14,000 PCC delegates who are representatives of the block Congress. The CWC members will be elected 

NEW DELHI: The Congress party may have a non-Gandhi party president nearly three decades after the last non-Gandhi president, Sitaram Kesri, was unceremoniously removed from office when the leadership decided to anoint Sonia Gandhi in his place.

Sources said Rahul Gandhi refused to return as Congress president. Sonia Gandhi, who has been holding the post as interim chief, has also expressed her desire not to continue in the post citing health reasons. The decision taken by Rahul and Sonia has sent party managers in a tizzy. Though efforts are still on to persuade Rahul to lead the party, insiders say he “does not appear in a mood to relent.”

There is a sense of déjà vu among party leaders. When Rahul had resigned taking responsibility for the party’s defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the CWC had unanimously rejected his resignation. But he had refused to continue. He had also said that it was not necessary that the party president should be from the Gandhi family.

Party leaders have started discussing other options. Names of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, party general secretary Mukul Wasnik, former Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar, former finance minister P Chidambaram, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are doing the rounds.

The younger lot too is hopeful of being catapulted to the top post. But desertion by young leaders such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada, Sushmita Deb, RPN Singh, Kuldeep Bishnoi, Ashok Tanwar, Ashok Chowdhary, etc has made party managers wary of betting on young leaders.

ALSO READ | Congress president Sonia Gandhi forms three groups to chart road ahead for party

The group of 23 rebels, some of whom have made up with the party leadership, is also likely to throw its hat in the ring by fielding candidates for the posts of president and CWC members.   

The next party president will have to be an elected one as the process for the election is scheduled to set into motion on Sunday. The process would start on August 21 and conclude with the election of the new president on September 20, 2022.

The CWC will be called next week where the chairman of the central election committee Madhusudan Mistry will present the fresh set of electoral rolls for the election of new Congress president and the members of the CWC.

The process of preparation of electoral rolls was started last year. The Congress president is elected by about 14,000 PCC delegates who are representatives of the block Congress. The CWC members will be elected