Rahul Gandhi, who met partys newly-elected MPs on Saturday, did not appear to have given any indication that he has relented from his insistence on resigning from the post of party president, party sources said.
They said he appeared not to have changed his mind over his offer to resign made at the meeting of Congress Working Committee last week in the wake of party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi had also suggested at the CWC meeting that his successor could be from outside the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Party MPs are learnt to have urged him to continue as party chief.
“All are working on it so that he does not step down,” a party leader told IANS.
At the regular party briefing, Congress Communications In-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala reaffirmed that Rahul Gandhi is the party chief and there were no two opinions or doubts on this.
“I would request all the naysayers to hold their breath. The Congress Working Committee has authorized Rahul Gandhi to do a complete overhaul of the organization from top to bottom… I would request all my friends in the media whom we respect so much to wait for a while rather than fall prey to speculation,” he said.
Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu told IANS that Rahul Gandhi should continue as party chief.
“Rahul Gandhi will have to listen to every worker, every state. And the message is that in this difficult hour, he cannot leave, he has to continue as president,” he said.
Bittu said if Gandhi leaves the post at this juncture, the party can disintegrate and Congress workers would get disappointed.
“We also ruled for 10 years. If they have (BJP-led NDA) come to power again, what is so big in this? We will come to power again. But party leadership, Gandhi has to keep, this is the responsibility of Rahul Gandhi,” he said, adding no one has lost faith in him.
Bittu said Congress has been moulded by the Nehru-Gandhi family and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had brought it out of a difficult phase.
Apart from Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi met the newly elected MPs, interacted with them and posed for photographs.