Rahul Gandhi likely to take over as Congress chief in October

Rahul Gandhi

Following the Congress Working Committee meet on Tuesday, the party decided to wrap up the internal elections by October 15.

Rumours of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s possible elevation to replace party president Sonia Gandhi gathered strength yet again following the Congress Working Committee meet on Tuesday.

The party’s highest decision making body decided to wrap up the internal elections by October 15.

In her address to party colleagues, Sonia urged that the party organisation must be strengthened and the ‘ongoing organisational elections must be completed with utmost speed and sincerity.’


The party’s performances in recent electoral battles were discussed and scrutinised in the meeting.

Unrest in Kashmir, ‘economic slowdown post demonetisation,’ ‘growing intolerance and active persecution of divergent voices’ and the party’s future course of action dominated the discussion.

Even as rumours of Gandhi stepping down to make way for Rahul gathered strength, senior party leaders refused to confirm whether the issue was discussed at length in the meeting.


Senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who announced the highlights of the meet at a press briefing, maintained that the issue was not discussed at all.

“The recently concluded Assembly elections hold vital lessons for us both in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. With an energised cadre and effective leadership, we were able to defeat a sitting NDA government in Punjab, but in Manipur and Goa, we failed to convert our winning numbers into forming a government.

“This outcome reminds us that the BJP will use their enormous resources and muscle power to steal mandates from us, just as they did in Arunachal and earlier in Uttarakhand. We cannot let this happen again,” Sonia said.


“In a few weeks, we will be electing the president and vice-president of our republic. In times such as these, it is even more essential that those who occupy this august office, protect the constitution. Dr Manmohan Singh, Rahul, other colleagues and I have met the leaders of like-minded parties to find commonly acceptable candidates for these high offices. A subgroup of representatives has been constituted to take this forward.”

“The Modi government has just completed three years in office. Where there was harmony, there is discord. Where there was tolerance, there is provocation. Where there was relative calm, as in Kashmir, there is growing confrontation, tension and fear. Where there was economic potential, there is stagnation. Where there was rich diversity, there is a brazen campaign to strait-jacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world-view,” she added.


“India’s GDP numbers for the fourth quarter and full year of 2016-17 were released a few days ago. lndia’s economic growth has slowed down sharply, driven primarily by the note-bandi announcement of November 2016. Gross Value Added (GVA), a true sub-measure of economic activity, has also experienced a steep and sustained fall. Private sector investment has collapsed and the economy is running on just one engine of public spending,” Manmohan Singh told the gathering.

“The most worrisome aspect of all this is the impact on job creation. Jobs have been extremely hard to come by for the youth of the nation. The construction industry which is one of the largest employment generators in the country has suffered a contraction.

This implies losas of millions of jobs for the nation’s workplace,” he added.



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