Even as his loyalists launch a campaign seeking his return as Congress President, Rahul Gandhi has conveyed to the party leadership that he was not keen on the post and would like to remain as a Lok Sabha member.
Rahul, 49, had stepped down as Congress President in July last year, accepting responsibility for the party's loss in the Lok Sabha elections which were won by the BJP by a margin than what it had won in 2014.
After the stopping, the BJP juggernaut in Maharashtra and Jharkhand assembly elections last year, a section of Rahul loyalists had started making demands for his return as Congress President.
Sonia Gandhi had returned to head the Congress for the interim period till the party elected a new president, a move that was seen in political circles as keeping the seat warm for Rahul.
There was a buzz of the meeting of the AICC after the Delhi assembly elections where Rahul was expected to return as the party president.
However, Rahul has conveyed to the leadership that he was not interested in the top post – at least for now.
Congress has been reduced to a fringe player in the national capital with little expectation of making a mark in Saturday's assembly elections, which will not create the necessary groundswell of support for Rahul's elevation to the top party post.
Another assembly election this year is to the Bihar Assembly, where the Congress is riding piggyback on the RJD. A lack of popular face and dominance of caste-based political outfits has pushed the grand old party to the margins in the state where its writ once ran large.
Moreover, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has been making key appointments to party posts in consultation with Rahul which ensures that he maintains hold over the day-to-day affairs of the organisation by remaining in the shadows.