Cong leaders may ask for full-time party chief

Top sources said that the group of leaders has met at least twice to deliberate on the issues of party organisation and a draft letter is being prepared. One of the leaders who is privy to the developments confirmed the move. But the sources did not reveal the names as the group wants to have wider consultations on the issue.

New Delhi: Amid political crisis in the party after desertion of two high-profile leaders in Madhya Pradesh and now Rajasthan, Congress leaders are mulling to write a collective letter to the Congress Working Committee to elect or appoint a new full-time party president as Sonia Gandhi is set to complete one year as interim party chief.

Top sources said that the group of leaders has met at least twice to deliberate on the issues of party organisation and a draft letter is being prepared. One of the leaders who is privy to the developments confirmed the move. But the sources did not reveal the names as the group wants to have wider consultations on the issue.

However, the sources said, “the move is not against Rahul Gandhi as the only motive is to have a permanent president and there should be a clear line of command in the party.”

Anybody can become party president and it may well be Rahul Gandhi but if Rahul doesn’t come back then there should be no interference from his side as many Congress leaders are miffed with the meddling of Rahul’s office which often lacks clarity, said a source.

Those involved in the process of raising the issue with CWC are senior leaders of the party and have been Union ministers and MPs in the UPA government.

The Congress leaders assert that party control over leaders have weakened over years and thus it needs to be restructured and regional satraps are either trying to get hold of the party or taking another line not in sync with the party.

Sonia Gandhi took charge of the party as interim president since August last year after Rahul Gandhi resigned on being decimated in the general election. Rahul had blamed senior party leaders for his defeat in the election accusing the seniors of only working for their kin and not taking interest in the party.

Rahul had also indicated that he may not return to the post anytime soon. “You, please read my letter that I wrote one year ago on that issue,” he said last month in response to a question on the topic.

Congress MPs in Lok Sabha had demanded that Rahul should be brought back as party president at the party meeting held on July 11.

Ahead of that meeting, senior leader Digvijaya Singh had said in a tweet “The Congress leadership must take up the challenge of building the party organisation brick by brick. This is where we need the dynamism of Rahulji and Priyankaji. I am sure both of them have the guts and courage to take on Modi-Shah twins.”

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