New Delhi: Ever since Rahul Gandhi offered to step down as the party chief, Congress has vehemently opposed his decision. The latest to join the chorus is senior leader Harish Rawat who said it was Rahul’s leadership which could guide the party from defeat to victory. (Also read: Cong Mulls Over Naming Interim President)

Just a day ago, party spokesperson R S Surjewala had said that Rahul was, is and will remain the Congress president. That ended all speculation on which way the party was headed vis-a-vis its leadership with Rahul insisting on stepping down and no successor announced yet.

Reports say Surjewala’s assertion came after a meeting presided by A K Antony, in which senior Congress leaders discussed the party’s strategy and preparations for the assembly elections in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Maharashtra later this year.

Rawat said, “I would like to reiterate what Mr Surjewala said yesterday that Rahul Gandhi was, is and will remain the Congress president. This is also the sentiment of the Congress workers and they believe that under his leadership the party can go from defeat to victory.”

“We were not successful, but by strengthening the organisation, we can mount a challenge to the RSS-BJP’s malicious propaganda,” the former Uttarakhand chief minister said.

At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also echoed Surjewala’s statement. There has been speculation also on the need for an interim arrangement within Congress, especially with assembly elections in four states. However, most leaders have been hoping that Rahul will continue to lead the party.