Congress to sideline leadership debate as party focuses on upcoming polls in seven states

The demand for a fulltime party chief has been pending since Rahul Gandhi quit the post after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Published: 26th September 2021 07:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th September 2021 10:36 PM   |  A+A-

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi is likely to continue as the party's president till the end of 2022 putting the leadership issue on backburner for now as the party is focusing on restructuring of state units, an organisational revamp and improving the electoral fortunes in the upcoming assembly elections.

After elections to the post of party chief were deferred multiple times, Congress, in June this year, said that the issue is being temporarily postponed for 2-3 months.

According to party sources, there is no hurry to settle leadership issue for the time being and a new party chief is likely to be elected after assembly elections in seven states are over next year.

As per party's constitution, the term of new Congress president will finish in 2022, after a tenure of five years, as Rahul Gandhi was appointed Congress chief in 2017.

"This party’s performance in assembly elections would boost the chances of the return of Rahul Gandhi as party chief, if he wants to take over the reins. The focus is to revamp the state units before organizational restructuring keeping an eye on 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This impact of changes will be a testing ground during assembly elections and that is why we have seen some proactive decisions by leadership," said a senior party leader.

The demand for a fulltime party chief has been pending since Rahul Gandhi quit the post after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“Rahul has been taking all the decisions along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and then what is stopping him from officially taking over from Sonia. This sends the wrong message to the entire party and demoralises party workers,” said a leader from the dissident group on request of staying anonymous. 

A group of 23 senior party leaders who have been repeatedly raking up issues related to the leadership vacuum at the top had met Sonia Gandhi early this year to share their concerns over the grand old party's losing connection with common people.    

The state units are expected to see elevation of several young leaders at prominent posts and the party is looking to induct atleast a dozen of young faces, including former JNU student union chief Kanhaiya Kumar and independent Gujarat Jigesh Mevani in coming days, who could work at national level. 

Getting poll strategist Prashant Kishor is also the party's strategy for the 2024 elections.     


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