Congress President Rahul Gandhi is determined to quit as the president of the grand old party and make way for someone else, sources told Outlook on Monday.
The development comes two days after party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) had unanimously rejected Rahul Gandhi's offer to resign and had, in fact, authorised him to completely restructure the party.
Sources said that, on Monday, several party leaders, who called on Rahul to urge him to reconsider his decision, returned without meeting him.
Later, Rahul, in a brief meeting, told party treasurer Ahmed Patel, and AICC general secretary in-charge of the organisation, KC Venugopal, that he was in no mood to rescind his resignation.
However, Rahul added he will give party veterans time to find an alternative. The same message was also communicated to party veterans AK Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Rahul's decision has got party leaders into a huddle, a source said, adding the former is keen on working as a "common Congress worker" now. Other party leaders are sceptical about having a non-Nehru-Gandhian as the president, fearing it could lead to an implosion within Congress - something Rahul has also been told.
Outlook has learned that Priyanka's name as Gandhi's successor has also been ruled out. While Rahul had told the CWC, on Saturday, that his successor has to be from outside the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Priyanka herself is not keen on stepping into her brother's shoes as she is convinced that doing so will play into the hands of the BJP which would renew its attacks on the dynasty with greater vigour.
Congress was handed an ignominious defeat by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While the grand old party increased its tally to 52 (44 in 2014), the saffron party won a staggering 303 on its own.