Mixed signals: Rahul Gandhi calls meetings, yet firm on quitting as president

Manoj C G
Sources said senior party leaders have concluded that the leadership vacuum in the Congress triggered by Rahul Gandhi’s insistence is costing the party dear and a way out has to be found.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has convened meetings of leaders and AICC in-charges of poll-bound Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra later this week, ending his self-imposed non-engagement with organisational matters since the party s defeat in Lok Sabha elections.

But he is said to be still firm on stepping down as Congress president, and sources said a meeting of Congress Working Committee (CWC) could be called soon to end the deadlock.

And in a surprise decision, the AICC on Monday dissolved all district committees of Uttar Pradesh and appointed CLP leader Ajay Kumar Lallu in charge of making organisational changes in eastern UP.

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Sources said senior party leaders have concluded that the leadership vacuum in the Congress triggered by Rahul s insistence is costing the party dear and a way out has to be found. A senior leader told The Indian Express that a CWC meeting could be convened soon to persuade Rahul to continue for one last time. If he does not relent, an alternative system will be put in place, the leader said.

The AICC stated that Lallu s appointment would be for a defined period, during which organisational changes will be effected. It said the in-charge of UP West will be decided by AICC general secretary in charge of western UP Jyotiraditya Scindia.