THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A large majority of the state Congress leaders are keen to see Rahul Gandhi emerging as the next party national president. They don’t dislike Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who is the desired candidate by the Gandhi family, but prefer to see a Nehru scion coming at the helm. Meanwhile, MP Shashi Tharoor’s hourlong meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday and her subsequent nod to him to contest in the election have raised the state leaders’ eyebrows.
While pressure is mounting on Rahul to take up the party mantle yet again, he remains unfazed and is focusing on his Bharat Jodo Yatra. Since nearly half a dozen party state units have passed resolutions in favour of Rahul, all eyes are on whether he would succumb to pressure. Ever since national general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal urged the state leadership to ensure that the Kerala leg of the yatra is a grand success compared to the Karnataka leg, the top brass has been accompanying the leader. Former state Congress president Mullappally Ramachandran told TNIE that Rahul is the only alternative to fight the BJP and RSS.
“It is high time Rahul Gandhi took the party president post. Only he has got the potential to invigorate the masses and the party. Without an iota of doubt, I can vouch that Rahul is a true champion of secularism. In the interview given to TNIE, Tharoor had maintained that he is open to options. From that statement, it is clear that he is consistently inconsistent in his political views,” said Mullappally. All along, Congress leaders in the state have only rallied behind the Nehru scion.
The possibility to see the Congress state president K Sudhakaran convening the office-bearers’ meeting to move a resolution in favour of Rahul Gandhi at this juncture is ruled out due to the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra. Senior Congress MP Benny Behanan told TNIE that even if Tharoor contests in the election, decisions would be taken only by Rahul. “If that’s the case, why should Rahul stay away? He should be in the front seat. I believe that those state units which had passed resolutions in favour of Rahul would have done so with the knowledge of Rahul and also Venugopal,” he said.