Sonia, Rahul Gandhi Skip Meet To Pick New Congress Chief; Priyanka Stays

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NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi — whose decision to quit the Congress chief’s post brought about a crisis in the party — walked out of today’s internal meeting, aiming to give the party a free hand to choose his successor. His mother Sonia Gandhi, who accompanied him, said they did not want to complicate the issue or “play favourites”.
“It is a mistake that our names were added to the groups,” Sonia Gandhi told reporters, refereing to zonal groups that are expected to play a key role in the selection process.

Both leaders were made part of the zonal groups – formed at Mr Gandhi’s suggestion that a broader consultation should be conducted before a new leader is chosen.

Sonia Gandhi was made part of the eastern zonal committee. Rahul Gandhi was named as part of the zonal committee for western India – Maharashtra is the largest state where elections will be held next.

Mr Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who entered active police politics in February, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, is however, attending the session. The 46-year-old — who was made the Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh — is part of the committee for the north zone.

There have been demands that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra take charge of the party. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was the last to call for the step. But Rahul Gandhi has ruled it out, saying the party cannot rope in his mother or sister for the top job.

Rahul Gandhi had quit the party’s top job after its devastating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress had been able to win only 52 seats – a marginal increase over its score of 44 in the 2014 election. Mr Gandhi’s had lost his traditional family turf Amethi to the BJP’s Smriti Irani, party stalwarts like Mallikarjun Kharge and Jyotiraditya Scindia were also defeated.

But the Congress – led by members of the Nehru-Gandhi family for most of its 130-odd years, had refused to accept Rahul Gandhi’s decision. Today’s meeting -more than two months after Rahul Gandhi checked out – is being held after it became known that the party workers and leaders are upset with the uncertainty.

Source By NDTV

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