Decision on Congress chief to be taken at CPP meeting
May 30 2019 02:19 AM
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Congress workers assemble outside party president Rahul Gandhi’s residence to appeal him to withdraw his offer to step down from the party’s top post, in New Delhi yesterday.

IANS/New Delhi

A meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) will be held on June 1 and a decision on the new leader of the party in the Lok Sabha is likely to be taken then.
The meeting will be presided over by United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Party president Rahul Gandhi, whose offer to resign has been rejected by the Congress Working Committee, may also address the meeting, sources said.
The meeting will be attended by newly-elected MPs of the party in the Lok Sabha and the party MPs in Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, sources said Rahul Gandhi has accepted that he will lead the party in the Lok Sabha where its strength, from a paltry 44, has gone up to 52. Sonia Gandhi will remain UPA chief and the family/dynasty will distance itself from day-to-day affairs of the party.
An interim working president with two or more working vice presidents in a loosely-formed presidium will run the party operations and plan for elections and campaigns.
K C Venugopal may emerge as the interim president while Prithviraj Chauhan could be one of the vice presidents.
Given that the Congress has 23 MPs from the south, it appears that a south Indian will helm the party for the time being. Or alternatively, appoint Jyotiraditya Scindia as the working president and have the youth brigade around him to turn the party’s fortunes around.
The Congress had fielded 421 candidates across the country but only 52 of them got elected marking the second dismal performance by the party in the second successive general elections.
The Congress won the maximum number of 15 seats in Kerala, followed by eight each in Punjab and Tamil Nadu. In many states and Union Territories, it could not even open its account. Among the party leaders who lost were four members of the CWC, the highest decision-making body of the party.
But the Young Turks are determined to dislodge the old guard. Sachin Pilot and Scindia are in the forefront to back Rahul Gandhi in his “clean-up” attempt. Sources said that in his outburst at the CWC meeting after the Lok Sabha defeat, Gandhi had selectively targeted the old guard. The Young Turks, all of whom had tasted defeat, were spared.



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