Will the Congress go to Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, slated for first quarter of 2017, under the presidentship of Rahul Gandhi? If sentiments voiced at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held on Monday are to be taken in full seriousness then in all probability Rahul will lead the party not just in UP but Punjab and other states.
Although nothing is certain, speculations are rife that coronation of Rahul might happen around the time when Sonia Gandhi turns 70 years on December 9.
For the first time the CWC collectively voiced the sentiments for Rahul’s elevation who was also present at the meeting. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is still recovering, was not present. According to senior leader AK Antony, “Members unanimously expressed strong sentiments of workers for Rahul Gandhi to take over presidentship of the party. They felt it was high time the Congress led by Rahul Gandhi fight against anti-people policies.”
The meeting was attended by all senior members, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Motilal Vora, Ahmed Patel amongst others. It is learnt that, initially, Manmohan Singh raised issues that are facing the country. Following this, Anthony raised the issue of Rahul’s elevation which was echoed by the collective. The meeting lasted for four hours and majority of the time was spent on this issue.
In response, Rahul was apparently positive about it. He is learnt to have stated that he would follow whatever the party decides and that he was willing to fight for the ‘idea of India’. The role of Sonia was not discussed. The party elections were already under extension till December 31 of this year; it will now be requesting the Election Commission of India to further extend it by a year since it would not be possible to complete the elections process in the next two months. However, sources in the party clarified that party election has no connection with Rahul’s possible elevation.
Sources said that at least thrice in the past the CWC had selected the president who was not elected. Anthony said that all the senior leaders will take their recommendation to the party president and was positive that it will “receive proper attention”. No proper resolution was passed in the meeting on the issue but only a strong unanimous recommendation.
The process will start now once the senior leaders take it up with the party president and a final call will be take in the next CWC.
The CWC passed three main resolutions today – The first on prevailing political and economic situations in the country including the Uri and subsequent attacks, OROP, escalation of atrocities on Dalits, Advasis and minorities, GDP growth, etc. It resolved to continue with its struggle to expose the 'communal and divisive' agenda of the Sangh and its political wing, the BJP. Secondly, one on the centenary celebrations of Indira Gandhi and thirdly, it hoped that the perpetrators of the killings of 19 soldiers on September 18 will be severely dealt with and brought to book.