Amidst attempts to convince him to change his mind about stepping down as party president, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday held a meeting with his sister and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, and Congress communication head Randeep Surjewala.
Mr. Gandhi also separately met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at his 12, Tughlaq Lane residence. There may be more meetings in the evening even though there was no official word on it.
Though none spoke to the media, presence of both the Rajasthan leaders is being taken as an indication that Congress’ top leadership is reviewing why the party failed to win a single Lok Sabha seat in the State despite winning the Assembly elections just five months ago.
Upset with the party’s performance, Mr. Gandhi announced his decision to quit as party chief during last Saturday’s Congress Working Committee (CWC).
And in a rare outburst, Mr. Gandhi had blamed senior party leaders of putting their personal interest above party in these States. Theses leaders, the Congress chief pointed out, never moved beyond the seats of their sons.
While Mr Gehlot’s son, Vaibhav, unsuccessfully contested from Jodhpur, while Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son, Nakul, won from Chhindwara and former Finance Minister P Chidamabaram’s son, Karti, won from Sivaganga.
The near wipe out of the Congress in the Hindi heartland — especially in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, where it is the ruling party — came under scrutiny of the CWC.
“The decimation of the party in the States where we are in power is a matter of serious concern. There is need for thorough introspection and corrective action,” Mr Surjewala had said at the official briefing soon after the CWC