New Delhi: The upheaval in the Congress continued for the fifth consecutive day as Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday refused to budge from his stand of resigning as party chief.
After turning away a number of party leaders a day earlier, Mr Gandhi interacted with a number of visitors on Tuesday at his Tughlaq Lane residence, including with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and general secretary K.C. Venugopal.
He also met Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot amid rumblings of discontent in the state after he “criticised” Mr Gehlot over the washout in the desert state.
Amid the talk of another Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in the next few days, party leaders continued to urge Mr Gandhi to reconsider his resignation.
Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit appealed to Mr Gandhi to withdraw his decision to step down, saying the party has bounced back in the past from challenging circumstances. Sources said Mr Tharoor and former MP from Guna, Jyotiraditya Scindia are among the names doing the rounds as possible successors to Mr Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the crisis in Rajasthan Congress after the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls deepened on Tuesday with two more leaders voicing their disappointment over the party’s poor performance despite an advisory from the party against making public statements.
Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Sushil Asopa said the state unit chief Sachin Pilot should have been made chief minister instead of Mr Gehlot.
Jaipur former mayor Jyoti Khandelwal, who was also the Congress candidate in the Lok Sabha polls, blamed poor booth management for her own defeat and sought a detailed analysis.
Earlier, Rajasthan ministers Udai Lal Anjana and Ramesh Meena had also demanded introspection and a detailed analysis of the defeat. Minister Lalchand Kataria on Sunday had announced his resignation from the state Cabinet.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan, Avinash Pande, has advised party workers against airing their views in public. “Congress leaders should refrain from giving public statements. A review meeting on the election results will be held soon and every Congress man will have a chance to express his thoughts,” he said....