Thursday, November 21, 2019

Posted at: Jun 19, 2019, 6:40 AM; last updated: Jun 19, 2019, 6:40 AM (IST)

Rahul turns 49 today, leaders look to a birthday message

Rahul turns 49 today, leaders look to a birthday message
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi with her son Rahul Gandhi after UPA leaders’ metting in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 18

As Congress president Rahul Gandhi turns 49 tomorrow, leaders hope he has a birthday message for the party. Ever since Rahul told the Congress Working Committee on May 25 that he was no longer interested in occupying the post and wanted a non-Gandhi to step in, the grand old party has been in a crisis.

The fact that there is no internal rebellion against the Gandhis – unlike in the K Kamaraj era when Indira Gandhi faced the syndicate before she formed her own party – has made the decision tougher.

“The family has withdrawn itself. No one is talking about the issue. Rahul Gandhi has not held any official engagement for days. Sonia Gandhi is not taking the conversation forward. The family’s stand is that Congress leaders should themselves find a way forward. But the Congress dilemma is — who will bell the cat,” remarked a Congress insider, claiming that discussions appeared veering towards installing an interim president.

There are no clear frontrunners for the post of Congress president though a section of leadership feels former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could be asked to step in. Others cite Singh’s old age and ill-health as impediments, pointing out that the Gandhis had not even asked him to campaign for the Lok Sabha polls.

“It’s natural for everyone to expect the family to aid a transition by taking the lead in building a consensus on who can succeed Rahul Gandhi. Let us see if we hear something from the man himself as he turns older tomorrow,” observed a veteran Congress man.

Decision on ‘one nation, one poll’ today 

  • On the PM's 'one nation, one poll' meeting on Tuesday, Congress leader in LS Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: "We will decide on it after holding a meeting with like-minded parties."
  • Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said: "Just like one nation, one tax was a jumla, one nation, one election is also a jumla. It can't be done under the Constitution. What if the government was to fall in a year? Would you have President's rule for the rest of five years?"
  • At Wednesday’s meet, Congress hopes to draft a joint Opposition strategy on triple talaq Bill, which the Modi government plans to push once the House begins legislative functioning


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