Congress MP Rahul Gandhi today indicated he is not totally out of the picture for the post of party chief.
“Whether I will become Congress president or not will be clearer when party elections (to the post) happen,” Mr Gandhi said during the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra (united India march), an early-stage campaign with an eye on the national election in 2024.
“I have decided what I have to do. There is no confusion,” Mr Gandhi said on the party chief matter, without explaining further.
“I will get some understanding about myself and this beautiful country from the yatra, and in these two-three months, I will be wiser,” Rahul Gandhi said.
The much-awaited election to the post of Congress president will be held on November 17 and votes will be counted two days later. Nominations can be filed from September 24 to 30.
The Congress, dealing with the fallout of a series of high-profile exits, including that of Kapil Sibal, Ashwani Kumar and Ghulam Nabi Azad, is still grappling with the question of whether a non-Gandhi can lead the party as its president.
Mr Azad had criticised Rahul Gandhi for “childish behaviour”, “glaring immaturity” and for letting a “coterie of inexperienced sycophants” run the party.
The Congress was to have a new president by September 21, but the deadline was extended by a month. The party last month citied an “inauspicious period” before the festivals besides Rahul Gandhi’s resistance to the top role.
Rahul Gandhi has refused to return as Congress president after he quit in 2019 owning responsibility for the party’s clobbering in the national election, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a second term.