Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra — who occupy top positions in the Indian National Congress are reportedly planning to quit from party posts.
The Congress Working Committee, or CWC, will convene at 4 p.m. tomorrow, three days after a crushing setback in state elections, and is expected to push internal elections to September, sources indicated on Saturday.
All three Gandhi family members — Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra — who occupy top positions in the Indian National Congress are reportedly planning to quit from party posts at the Congress meeting scheduled for March 13, according to sources of NDTV.
However, party spokesperson has categorically denied the speculations of Gandhis offering resignation calling it ‘unfair and incorrect’.
The Congress was wiped out in state election results announced Thursday, losing Punjab, one of the last major states it controlled, to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and failing to create a strong challenge in three other states where it had hoped to make a return – Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur.
In Uttar Pradesh, where Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sonia Gandhi’s daughter and sister to Rahul Gandhi, spearheaded the campaign, the Congress won just two seats out of 403. In 2017, it had won 7 seats in an alliance with Samajwadi Party. The party could only manage to gain 2.4 percent of the total votes.
The setback in state elections triggered fierce criticism of the Gandhi family, with calls for a full reform and leadership change from a number of party officials – a demand that had previously been limited to the ‘G-23’, a group of 23 “dissenters” who had written to Sonia Gandhi two years ago.
On Thursday, senior Congressman Shashi Tharoor, a G-23 member, tweeted that change in party is unavoidable, while his colleague Jaiveer Shergill called for reform and warned against “sugar-coating” the loss.
Some of the dissidents reportedly met at veteran politician Ghulam Nabi Azad’s house Friday evening to discuss the next actions, expressing displeasure with the Congress leadership for failing to take corrective action to resurrect the party.
Gandhi family supporters, on the other hand, have backed the leadership. DK Shivakumar, the Congress’ top troubleshooter, said in an interview with NDTV on Friday that the party cannot remain unified without its first family and that it would be “difficult” for it to survive without them.
DK Shivakumar, president of Congress Karnataka unit said, “Without the Gandhi family, the Congress party cannot stay united. They are key for the unity of the Congress party… It is impossible for the Congress to survive without the Gandhi family.”