A mass resignation spree has shaken the Congress’s rank and file after weeks of stunned silence as uncertainty looms over who will take over the party’s top post, reports India Today on Saturday.
The flurry of resignations has come just a few days after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had lamented how nobody in the party had come forward to take responsibility for the party’s shameful performance in the Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi had aired his complaints to Youth Congress leaders.
Now, a letter has set in motion a campaign of voluntary resignations in ‘honour and respect’ of Rahul Gandhi.
Almost 120 Congress leaders have already signed the letter including Telangana in-charge Poonam Prabhakar, Bihar in-charge Virendra Rathore, Youth Congress vice-president Srinivas, Delhi Congress Working president Rajesh Lilothia and Anil Chowdhary, Madhya Pradesh in-charge Deepak Babaria and Goa in-charge Girish Chowdhankar.
‘Rahul Gandhi ji has given opportunities to people from ordinary backgrounds, non-political backgrounds to grow in the party. Now, as he takes responsibility and steps down from his post it is also our moral responsibility to stand in solidarity with him and to take the onus,’ says an emotional Netta D’Souza, general secretary All India Mahila Congress.
A meeting of those who resigned went on late into the night to discuss the future course of action on Friday. The leaders decided to meet Congress organisational secretary KC Venugopal to take permission to continue sitting in the party office premises as technically after resignation they are supposed to demit office.
Earlier, the Congress headquarters had been abuzz as mid-level leaders were busy with the signature campaign. The letter still hasn’t seen entries from general secretary-level leaders and could be symbolic of the differences of opinion between the old guard and the new.
However, not all agree with the resignation saga.
A senior leader expressed concern over what Rahul Gandhi had said and the reaction it led to. ‘Who should we send our resignations to when the Congress president has also resigned? Mass resignations will push the Congress into a state of anarchy,’ he said.
‘After the poll debacle, many state units are already conducting a post-mortem. At least some work is going on. Chief ministers resigning will destabilise governments in Congress-ruled states...What does it achieve?’ he added.
‘A mechanism needs to be put in place soon to introspect the reasons of defeat. Each constituency has its own reasons and the longer we take to do that, the more time is lost and then people will forget,’ said another Congress leader who stressed that an alternative needs to be found soon.
Closed door meetings are already taking place in a five-star hotel to pitch in names of probable and favourites for the coveted post of Congress president.
Many leaders have been vocal about finding an alternative and feel that the present dilemma is doing irreparable damage to the party’s image.
The names of Anand Sharma, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot and even Jyotiraditya Scindia are part of the whirlwind of speculations.
Only three people in the party know what is going to follow next and it’s anybody’s guess who they are.
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