Congress in huddle as discontent grows within party

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi leave after paying tribute to India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 55th death anniversary, at his memorial Shanti Van in New Delhi, Monday, May 27, 2019. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi leave after paying tribute to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 55th death anniversary, at his memorial Shanti Van in New Delhi, Monday, May 27, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had a series of visitors on Tuesday with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as well as Rajasthan’s ruling duo Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot calling on him amid reports of growing discontent within party.

Speculation has been rife about Congress president Rahul Gandhi wanting to quit his post since the Congress Working Committee met on May 25, two days after the party’s debacle in Lok Sabha polls. Post the meet, the party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had come out and said that Rahul Gandhi had offered his resignation, but it was rejected by the party.

A series of closed door meetings have be taking place since then. Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Pilot met Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi earlier today, followed by Chief Minister Gehlot.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi was present during the discussions, party insiders said. The party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and general secretary K C Venugopal also met the party president.

It is not immediately known what transpired at the meetings.

Since the colossal electoral defeat, the Congress has been riven by internal turmoil. As the party grapples with a severe existential crisis, its governments in both Karnataka and Rajasthan teeter on the brink.

New Delhi: Rajasthan CM and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot leaves the residence of party president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Rajasthan CM and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot leaves the residence of party president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The Congress drew a blank in Rajasthan as the NDA won all 25 Lok Sabha seats. In Karnataka, where it formed a government with the JD(S) in May last year, the Congress managed to win only one Lok Sabha seat out of 28.

On Monday, reports suggest, Rahul Gandhi cancelled all his appointments for the day and did not meet anyone, including Gehlot.

According to some leaders who attended the Congress Working Committee meeting, Gandhi did a lot of “plain-speaking” in his surgical analysis of the role of several party leaders while himself offering to quit as the party president. Reports also said that Gandhi was unhappy with Gehlot for putting his son above the party.

The CWC meeting was held in the backdrop of the Congress winning just 52 Lok Sabha seats and failing to win even a single seat in 18 states and Union Territories. Gandhi himself lost from the family bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, though he won from Wayanad in Kerala.

(With inputs from PTI)