Never-ending term for Cong’s Interim President: Gandhi loyalists float ‘party polls after assembly polls’ idea

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Sections close to the Congress leadership have floated the idea that the ‘apt time’ for holding the much-delayed Congress organisational elections would be after the February-March assembly elections in UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, and Sonia Gandhi would continue as interim president till then.

The move comes ahead of Congress Working Committee’s Saturday meeting, which is slated to discuss the current political situation and organisational polls. Some change seekers in the CWC are likely to stress on the need to hold organisational polls at the earliest to elect a party president and CWC, and make decision-makers accountable, at the meeting.

The CWC meeting could also see Gandhi family loyalists making a chorus for Rahul Gandhi’s ‘early return’ as party chief as a show of loyalty to the de facto decision maker and to stress he remains the heir apparent. Incidentally, the remaining tenure of the Congress president since Rahul Gandhi quit as chief would be over by mid-2022. Election/nomination of the next Congress chief for a full five-year term, hence, would also be due by the middle of next year.

Ever since Sonia assumed charge as party’s interim president, the leadership has twice postponed polls, citing Covid-19, even as family loyalists demanded Rahul’s return. It is widely known, however, that he remains the party’s main decision-maker all throughout though he quit the post officially. Change seeker Kapil Sibal had recently sought to know who made all the decisions in the absence of a full-time party chief. It saw some Congress workers stage a protest outside Sibal’s house and damage his car. The AICC neither condemned the incident nor took disciplinary action against anyone for the rowdy display of family loyalty.

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