New Delhi: Thursday marks two months of Rahul Gandhi’s resignation as Congress president, during which the party witnessed a series of political crisis. The uncertainty in the party’s leadership comes at a time when it has a herculean task at hand to take on arch rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in five states where elections are scheduled over the next one year.
The crisis in the party deepened after several leaders stepped down following Gandhi’s resignation. But the body blow to the party came from the resignations of prominent leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Murli Deora.
On 25 May, just days after the party’s second worst performance in the general elections, Gandhi offered to resign at the top level meeting of Congress Working Committee (CWC) which was not accepted. While senior leaders of the party spent several days convincing him to go back on his decision, Gandhi remained firm and went public with his decision last month, urging the CWC to find his replacement.
“With no leader at the centre, a number of troubles are starting to get worse like what happened in Karnataka. However, now the party’s bigger worry is upcoming state polls where we are having worrying internal rifts and lack of a robust election strategy," a senior party leader said requesting anonymity.
The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government collapsed in Karnataka on Tuesday night amid several defections of MLAs from the party. In Goa too, where the Congress is in opposition, 10 out of 15 MLAs switched sides to join the ruling BJP.
According to senior party leaders, Gandhi is currently travelling abroad. Back in the national capital, there has been no move on holding a CWC meeting to decide on an interim party chief and eventually for a new party president.
According to senior party leaders, an impending CWC meeting also got delayed owing to the developments in Karnataka. With at least three state polls -- Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand -- to be announced in the months to come, party leaders feel some solution to the leadership crisis has to be found soon.
Gandhi’s formal absence from party’s political affairs also comes at a time when the crucial budget session of Parliament is on and the National Democratic Alliance is keen on pushing its legislative agenda.