The chief ministers of the five Congress-ruled states are planning to meet Rahul Gandhi to persuade him to continue as the Congress president. Rahul has returned to India after spending a week abroad but there is still no clarity on whether he would continue at the helm of the party.
Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi is also yet to announce who would lead the party in the Lok Sabha. Sources said Kodikkunnil Suresh, the seniormost Congress MP, and his colleague from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor, are interested in the post. Suresh on Monday took oath as an MP in Hindi, surprising many of his colleagues.
Chief Ministers of four Congress-ruled states — Madhya Pradesh’s Kamal Nath, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Bhagel and Puducherry’s V Narayanasamy — had met over dinner here last week and they felt they should try to persuade Rahul to continue as the Congress president.
“The rank and file of the Congress is united and is standing solidly behind Rahul. The party will remain disciplined and united if he is at the helm. He should continue as the Congress president…” Gehlot told The Indian Express when asked what the chief ministers discussed at the dinner hosted by Nath.
A senior Congress leader, who had attended Nath’s dinner, said the view among the elders of the party was that Rahul should not feel demoralised as the defeat was not a defeat of the “principles” that the Congress had fought for. Gehlot said the CMs have sought an appointment with Rahul.