NEW TWIST TO CWC MEET … Rahul says Kashmir is more important now, not discussions on party president post

NEW DELHI: In a sudden twist, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Saturday night that the discussions on selection of a new president can wait as reports came to him that the scenario in Kashmir was turning worse and there was violence in the streets. “This is the important matter now. The Prime Minister must explain to the nation as to what is happening,” he said.

Alongside, however, reports came the CWC subcommittees suggested that Sonia Gandhi re-take the Congress president post, but Sonia rejected the plea. She had stepped down from party president post last year and anointed her son as the party chief.  The subcommittees had, earlier in the day, suggested that Rahul re-take the president post. As this did not seem to click, the subcommittees met again and suggested at night that Sonia Gandhi should take charge. 

It was then that Rahul Gandhi returned to the CWC and said “leadership issue is less important and Kashmir is a more serious matter to discuss” as he got information that the law and order situation in Kashmir was deteriorating. After this, Rahul Gandhi spoke to the media saying PM Modi should explain to the nation as to what was happening in Kashmir. Rahul Gandhi left the CWC meeting after making this statement. 

Notably, the CWC subgroups which discussed the leadership issue could not arrive at a clear consensus. By suggesting Rahul’s name first and then Sonia’s, the subgroups outrightly rejected the name of those like Sachin Pilot, Mukul Wasnik and Mallikarjun Kharge. It was clear that these names were floated with full  knowledge that they will not be acceptable to the broad spectrum of Congressmen as their leader. It was also clear that the CWC would push for either Rahul or Sonia or Priyanka Gandhi.  

By abruptly walking in and disrupting the CWC process to select a new president for the Congress party, on Saturday night, Rahul Gandhi has made it abundantly clear that he remains as the de facto leader of the Congress – and the family the last word – even as he refuses to continue as party president. This strengthens the perception that the Nehru family does not want to leave control of the Congress party, and Rahul Gandhi would continue to dictate to the leadership irrespective of whether or not he is the Congress party chief.

There are also strong feelings that the search for a Congress president is just a drama. What is intended is to create conditions for the first family to run the party from behind, if not from the front. Even when Rahul Gandhi quit the post, he is refusing to stand aside and leave things to the hands of others. He is not allowing his sister Priyanka Gandhi too to lead the party. Mother Sonia Gandhi has lost not only her health but also her clout after the eruption of huge scams during the UPA periods, when she managed the show from behind even as Manmohan Singh remained as PM. Such was the scenario when Singh could not take any decision without obtaining approval first from Sonia Gandhi, as per insider tales. IHN-NN


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