New Delhi: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has reportedly refused to don the mantle of Congress chief, said reports on Wednesday. (Also read: ‘One Day BJP Will Discover That Everything Cannot be Bought,’ Says Priyanka) Also Read - 'I Apologise... Just Forgot the Name': Kamal Nath Explains 'Item' Jibe After Controversy, EC Takes Note
Sources told a leading portal that Priyanka said she would rather continue to serve the party in her current role than take the top job. If only she did, she would be starting from where her brother Rahul left off. Also Read - Don't Think Gandhi Family Will Take Action Against Kamal Nath for ‘Item’ Remark: Smriti Irani
Rahul had volunteered to give up the post in May itself, days after his party’s debacle in Lok Sabha elections. He had also categorically said, “leave my sister out of it”. Also Read - Dalit Atrocities Have Reached New Zenith, Democracy Passing Through Most Tumultuous Times: Sonia Gandhi Attacks Centre
The drama to convince him to not relinquish the party President’s post came to a nought after over a month of cajoling and Congress leaders across the country continued to give up their posts in order to pressure Rahul. But nothing came of that.
The party then turned to his sibling, hoping to be able to convince her as senior leaders believe party workers will accept only a Gandhi chief.
Sources also told the portal that senior Congress leaders took a vote of state leaders, chief ministers and members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). As it turns out, there were seven names to choose from: Mallikarjun Kharge, Sushilkumar Shinde, Digvijaya Singh, Kumari Selja, Mukul Wasnik, Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
However, the party failed to arrive at a consensus.
Now the party awaits Rahul’s return from the US. Sonia has also reportedly called for a meeting of the CWC where leaders are likely to report the same. The party could pick a candidate as its interim president before opting for internal elections.
Priyanka’s recent protest involving the Sonbhadra massacre in Uttar Pradesh had given many party leaders hope that she was ready to take up the challenge even without her brother at the helm.
Just a day ago, senior leader Shatrughan Sinha had endorsed her candidature as party chief. In a series of tweets, he also likened her to her grandmother Indira Gandhi. Sinha said, “Yesterday/day before the timely involvement by the most popular, bold, dynamic leader of Congress Priyanka Gandhi for Sonbhadra Massacre was reminiscent of the late and great Madam Gandhi. During her Belchi days, she had travelled on an Elephant.”