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The Congress doesn’t need a president

6 31 0
10.08.2019

It took Rahul Gandhi 42 days of confusion after the Lok Sabha results to formally resign from the post of the Congress president. Another 38 days later, the Congress is now about to appoint a new president, and Mukul Wasnik is said to be the front-runner.

Rahul Gandhi, having stepped aside, is unhappy with how the party is going about finding the new president. He doesn’t want the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to just hold a meeting and crown the chosen one. He wants due process, or at least the pretence of it. An aide of his has said as much in writing to all the CWC members.

Also read: Congress goes ‘democratic’, will hold state-wise consultations to pick new chief

A Rahul Gandhi acolyte recently told me what the problem was. What you are seeing, he said, is a continuation of the long-running battle between the old guard and the new guard of the party. Rahul Gandhi wanted Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia to be chief ministers of their states, he alleged, but was vetoed by the old guard. Rahul Gandhi’s point is: why should he be president if he can’t have his way?

Starting with 1969, this leader told me, the Congress party has recovered from its periodic decline only through a split. The only way the Congress party can revive today, he said, is if there is a split. Either the old guard or the new guard could leave. One will succeed and one will fail.

Now, he said, the old guard wanted Rahul Gandhi to nominate a new president.........

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