Congress leaders hold election meeting without Rahul Gandhi

Congress leaders met on Wednesday to thrash out strategy for states where Assembly elections are scheduled to take place this year in absence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who is currently in London. The reason for Rahul’s London trip is not known but it is expected that he would return to India before the Monsoon Session.

Rahul Gandhi left for UK on Tuesday. The fact that Rahul Gandhi this time around did not tweet about his journey indicates that he has not changed his mind about his decision to step down as Congress president. After lot of criticism, Rahul had started to tweet about the journeys he took abroad. A highly placed source told Zee Media that since he has resigned as Congress president and is only functioning for the interim period, he does not need to tweet and inform people in general as he would do as a fully functional President of the Congress party. This development has been noticed by all in the party. Highly placed in the Congress have also told DNA, that as of now Rahul Gandhi has not changed his mind about his decision to quit and all efforts to mollycoddle him have come to a naught.

During the meeting, the Congress leaders also dissolved the Core Group which was constituted before Lok Sabha election. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the meeting was held to discuss the strategy for the coming elections in Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Haryana. The meeting was attended by senior leaders like Ahmad Patel, P Chidambaramn, Jairam Ramesh, AK Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge, Randeep Surjewala and KC Venugopal. Sources said that the leaders did not discuss anything about Rahul’s succession plan.

Congress leaders insisted after the meeting that Rahul Gandhi continues to remain the president of the party as his resignation was rejected by the Congress Working Committee. It is notable that after massive defeat in Lok Sabha and the CWC meet in Delhi’s AICC headquarter, Rahul Gandhi has not made himself available to party for any substantial meeting on any substantial issue. He, however, visited his new constituency Wayanad and also took some time out to meet cricketer-turned-politician Navjyot Singh Sidhu. Rahul also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar but remained unavailable to rest of the party. The Monsoon Session of the Parliament will begin on June 17 and Congress will have to announce the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha. As of now, no name has been finalized but three names doing the round are Manish Tiwari, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary and Shashi Tharoor.