Election For Congress Chief From Aug 21, Rahul Gandhi Maintains Silence

Sources said requests by Congress leaders to Rahul Gandhi to become the party chief once again - he quit as Congress president after the party's defeat in the 2019 general election - has received no response

Election For Congress Chief From Aug 21, Rahul Gandhi Maintains Silence

Rahul Gandhi is "non-committal" on becoming Congress chief, sources said

New Delhi:

The election to select a Congress president will start from August 21, sources have said. Party MP Rahul Gandhi has not revealed whether he would contest for the post, which his mother Sonia Gandhi is currently heading.

Sources said requests by Congress leaders to Mr Gandhi to become the party chief once again - he quit as Congress president after the party's defeat in the 2019 general election - has received no response.

The party has been deliberating for a long time on the possibility of having a non-Gandhi leader as the Congress chief. There is no consensus yet on this matter, sources said.

A large section of Congress leaders wants a Gandhi to be on the driver's seat as they feel the Gandhis have a unifying impact on the party that is ridden with factionalism, sources said.

In March, Sonia Gandhi in her speech to senior leaders at a meeting to discuss the party's assembly election defeats had offered to resign along with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Sonia Gandhi presented the resignation offer as the "ultimate sacrifice in the interest of the party", party leaders had said.

Rahul Gandhi, who took over as party chief from his mother in 2017, had quit in May 2019, days after the Congress ended up with just 52 of 543 Lok Sabha seats, pulverised once again by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP.

The elections to the Congress Working Committee and other posts will happen after poll to select a party chief, sources said.

Mr Gandhi for now has set his focus on participating in the Congress's Bharat Jodo (Unite India) yatra, starting September 7. The party has said it would organise yatras from "Kashmir to Kanyakumari" across 12 states and two Union Territories in 15 days, and would cover a distance of some 3,500 km.

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