Generational tussle in Congress for next chief

Generational tussle in Congress for next chief

With Rahul Gandhi returning from his US sojourn, the hunt for his successor as Congress president is expected to gain momentum, with leaders getting down to resolving the generational tussle within the organisation.

After extensive consultation, Congress leaders had shortlisted the names of Mallikarjun Kharge, Sushilkumar Shinde and Mukul Wasnik as probable successors to Rahul for the interim, making young leaders within the party restless.

The shortlist was learnt to have been drawn up by AICC General Secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal after inviting suggestions from party veterans.

Congress sources said younger leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Jitin Prasada, Deepender Hooda have held a couple of rounds of meetings to ensure that the future leader of the grand old party reflects the youthful nature of the nation.

Recently, Congress veterans Digvijaya Singh and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to have spoken in favour of a young leader taking over as the next party chief.

“Now the time has come for Rahul Gandhi and his young team to take over and rebuild the party… all from our generation would be too happy to hand over the baton,” Digvijaya Singh, a two-term former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, said.

A section of the Congress has pitched for AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the next party president, but the suggestion had been shot down by Rahul himself when he made the offer to quit the top post at the meeting of the CWC on May 25.

A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was scheduled to be held earlier this month but had to be delayed due to lack of consensus over Rahul's successor and the tussle between the veterans and the young leaders over controlling the party.

The crisis in Karnataka erupted on July 6 with Congress-JD (S) legislators rebelling against the then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, forcing the Congress leaders to focus their energies on saving the coalition government.

The focus of Congress leaders has turned back to selecting a party president after the fall of the Congress-JD (S) government in Karnataka on July 23.

AICC General Secretary Harish Rawat said a meeting of the CWC would be called in August to decide on the next Congress President.