While the Congress is likely to announce the schedule to elect the next party President on Sunday, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) will meet virtually as Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi will be abroad for Sonia Gandhi’s medical check-up.
“Congress President Sonia Gandhi will be travelling abroad for medical check-ups. She will also visit her ailing mother before she returns to Delhi. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be travelling with the Congress President,” Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a statement on Tuesday night.
As per sources, Sonia Gandhi might not be present in the country when Congress leader sit down to elect the next party President, as she will be visiting her ailing mother after her check-up.
However, Rahul Gandhi will return to address the party’s mega rally at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi against price rise and unemployment on September 4. He is also expected to lead the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari on September 7. It is still not known if Priyanka Gandhi will be back for the ‘Mehangai Par Halla Bol’ rally on September 4.
The Congress is facing internal crisis with senior leaders Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad and now Jaiveer Shergill resigning from key party posts.
Another senior leader Manish Tewari, who had taken a contrary stand to that of the party over the Centre’s Agnipath scheme, was photographed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday at an event in Punjab, though sources said he was invited for the programme being an MP from the state.
Meanwhile, the Sachin Pilot camp in Rajasthan has maintained silence after reports emerged that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is likely to become the next Congress President.
The Congress has two big events lined up in September — the ‘Mehangai Par Halla Bol’ rally and the nation-wide ‘Bharat Jod Yatra’ — and Sonia Gandhi is unlikely to be present in both the events, though Rahul Gandhi will be there.
The Congress has called a meeting of its working committee on August 28 to decide the schedule to elect the next party President.
“A virtual meeting of the CWC will be held on August 28 at 3 pm to approve the schedule of dates for the election of the next Congress President. Congress President Sonia Gandhi will preside over the CWC meeting,” tweeted K.C. Venugopal, General Secretary (Organisation).
Sources said that Sonia Gandhi requested him for the same during a meeting on Tuesday, which she held before heading abroad for medical check-up. However, Gehlot has said that he came to about it only through the media.
While the Gehlot camp has not confirmed the development, sources have confirmed that the Congress is looking beyond the Gandhis for the top post this time.
On Tuesday, it was repotred that the Central Election Authority of the Congress is awaiting a nod from the party’s working committee to announce the schedule for electing the next Congress chief as the grand old party is still reportedly in search of a consensus candidate for the top post after refusal by Rahul Gandhi.
While sources said that the top choice is Ashok Gehlot, the Rajasthan Chief Minister had said on Monday that Rahul Gandhi should rethink his decision as it will demoralise the party workers.