- Rahul Gandhi maintains there would be no rollback on his decision to quit
- Mr Gandhi will meet Maharashtra Congress Unit, Delhi, Haryana leaders
- Meetings meant to discuss preparations for upcoming assembly elections
Congress's Rahul Gandhi will hold several meetings with party leaders from states headed for assembly elections, sources said. The word of meetings -- to be held later this week -- has brought hope to the party, which has been praying that he stays on as its chief. What raised the leaders' concern is the decision to hold a meeting of the Working Committee soon after. Sources said a final decision on whether Mr Gandhi will stay or go will be taken at the meeting.
Mr Gandhi has so far maintained that there would be no rollback on his decision to quit the party post, announced days after the party's humiliating defeat in the national elections.
But this was also the first time since that announcement that he has taken an initiative in organisational matters. For weeks, the 49-year-old had remained closeted in his Tughlaq Road residence, refusing to meet any leader.
Sources now say Mr Gandhi will meet leaders of Maharashtra Congress Unit on June 27 and the Haryana and Delhi units a day later. The meetings are meant to discuss the preparations for upcoming assembly elections. All General Secretary in-charges of state units have been asked to submit a report on the performance of the units in the Lok Sabha elections to Mr Venugopal, who is a General Secretary Organisation in the party. The leadership in several state units will be re-jigged.
Yesterday, the party dissolved its committees in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka amid buzz that it was a churning before the party announces its new leadership. Sources said the rejig was based on recommendations of the state in-charges. A string of by-elections are expected later this year.
For more than a month, Rahul Gandhi has withdrawn himself from the party leaders. Two days after the results, he announced his decision to quit the top post taking responsibility for the rout in the Lok Sabha elections. "There has to be accountability," he said.
It was the second blow for the party, already reeling from its shock defeat. For most of the years since Independence, the Congress has been led by members of the Gandhi family.
What made the situation tougher for the Congress was Mr Gandhi's injunction that his mother and sister cannot replace him. Senior party members have confessed off the record that the Gandhi family has been the glue that held the party together.
Later, he only met the party's senior leaders Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal. While officially, there is no word on what happened at these meetings, sources said the two leaders are trying to convince Mr Gandhi to reverse his decision.
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