Rahul Gandhi's missing act

Updated: Sep 18, 2019, 13:44 IST | IANS |

In his resignation letter, he had said no Gandhi should take over as the party chief. However, three months later, senior leaders decided that Sonia Gandhi should take over as the interim party chief

Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Ever since his mother Sonia Gandhi was elected as interim Congress president over a month ago, former party chief Rahul Gandhi has been missing from action. Rahul quit the post of Congress president after the party's severe poll debacle and refused to reconsider his decision, despite being persuaded.

In his resignation letter, he had said no Gandhi should take over as the party chief. However, three months later, senior leaders decided that Sonia Gandhi should take over as the interim party chief.

Over the last several days, Rahul has been missing from action, although his twitter handle is active, commenting on events and statements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers.

While his mother and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have been holding discussions with party leaders in connection with the upcoming Assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, the 49-year-old Congress MP has not been seen at these confabulations.

He didn't attend the crucial meeting on September 12, chaired by Sonia Gandhi, where the country's economic situation was discussed and a slew of decisions were taken.

The meeting, meant for party general secretaries, states' in-charge, state unit chiefs and leaders of the Congress Legislature parties, was also attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior party leader AK Antony.

When asked about Rahul Gandhi's absence, party leader R.P.N. Singh said the meeting was only for general secretaries and states' in-charge. Sonia Gandhi has also been deciding organisational issues.

She has also been busy in finalising candidates for upcoming Assembly elections and has been presiding over meetings of Congress Election Committee. The Assembly polls are crucial for the Congress as it will be making attempts to wrest power from the BJP in these states.

She presided over the party's election committee meeting to decide on candidates for Maharashtra Assembly polls last week. When contacted, Rahul Gandhi's office said he didn't attend as he is not a member of the election panel. Some party leaders claim that he has confined himself to his constituency Wayanad in Kerala.

To scotch speculation, the party listed activities of Rahul Gandhi, a member of Congress Working Committee. He attended the August 10 CWC meeting that took up the issue of new president and was also present at the CWC sitting convened to discuss abolition of special status of Jammu and Kashmir. He also tried to visit Srinagar with a delegation of Opposition leaders, toured Wayanad.

Congress sources said he would be participating in the 'padyatra' on Gandhi 'Jayanti' on October 2. The party has planned padyatras across the country on the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Congress Sources said Rahul will be campaigning for the party in the Assembly elections. When Rahul took over as party president in 2017, he had appointed many young leaders. He experimented by introducing elections in youth and student bodies.

However, many senior leaders believe that this has ruined the organisation. Priyanka Gandhi, during her visit to UP, has said that many senior leaders were against the election system in the organisation.

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