Ahead of the crucial Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet to find Rahul Gandhi's successor, senior party leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said it should first appoint an interim chief and then hold internal elections to senior leadership positions which would allay all concerns. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet is scheduled to take place on August 10 at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi.
"When we spoke with Rahul Gandhi, he said there should be a culture of accountability. If Rahul Gandhi has done this, then it is relevant for everyone. This principle is not just for one person," Tharoor said.
The veteran politician was addressing a press conference after the second annual meet of All India Professionals' Congress (AIPC) which he heads.
The AIPC, in its meeting, also urged the senior leadership of the Congress and the CWC to urgently follow the "wishes of the Congress President" and move ahead on appointing an interim chief as soon as possible, he added.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor: All India Professionals’ Congress (AIPC) leaders have urged the senior leadership of the Congress & particularly Congress Working Committee to urgently follow the wishes of the Congress President. pic.twitter.com/dxCu5hwDUS— ANI (@ANI) August 4, 2019
Meanwhile, Milind Deora, who last month resigned as the Mumbai Congress president, said the new party chief should be young and capable and possess electoral, administrative and organisational experience with a pan India appeal, as suggested by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
In his view, Deora said, Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot and former AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia have such qualities to provide strength and lead the party.
M Deora, Mumbai Congress President: I agree with Punjab CM that new Congress Pres should be young, capable&possess electoral, administrative&org experience with a pan India appeal. In my view, Sachin Pilot & Jyotiraditya Scindia have these qualities & can provide strength to org. pic.twitter.com/ZPlFvAGQ3B— ANI (@ANI) August 4, 2019
When prodded about Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress veteran said, "I will be happy if she comes and leads the party but when Gandhi family has clarified that the next party president should not be from Gandhi family, this possibility doesn't arise".
Top Congress leaders have been pondering over who could succeed Gandhi and several rounds of meetings have taken place, but a decision on his successor has not been taken yet. Many names have been doing the rounds as possible choice for Congress president, with a debate generated within by some party leaders to install a young leader to lead the party.
Interestingly, even though Rahul Gandhi had ruled out the possibility of a Gandhi family member succeeding him, several leaders have voiced support for Priyanka Gandhi throwing her hat in the ring. In an interview to PTI, veteran Congress leader Karan Singh said Priyanka Gandhi will be a "unifying force" and will enthuse cadres if she takes on the mantle of party president.
Last month, Singh had said he was "aghast" at the disorientation into which the party has fallen following Gandhi's resignation, and urged the working committee to meet immediately under the chairmanship of former prime minister Manmohan Singh and take necessary decisions.