Sonia Gandhi likely to pave the way for Rahul as Congress President; reportedly says ‘time to pass on baton’

NEW DELHI: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is likely to be elevated as party President in next few weeks, after the grand-old party suffered a debacle in the recent Assembly elections.

According to reports, Congress Welfare Committee (CWC) is expected to meet this month and take the decision.
Party leader Captain Amarinder Singh told NDTV that Congress President Sonia Gandhi has said that it’s time for the baton to be handed over to someone else.

The development comes weeks after senior party leader Digvijaya Singh made a pitch for a ‘major surgery’ in the organisation after the party’s poor performance in the assembly polls.
Younger Congress aspirants are reportedly expected to get key positions in the party, whereas the older party functionaries will be asked to step down.

“Rahul’s ascension as Congress president would be accompanied by an overhaul of party structures to populate them with younger people. Older party functionaries will be asked to step down and make way for a new order,” sources told
However, most of the Congress veterans are uncomfortable with what some described as Rahul’s brusque and impatient style of functioning and wish for incumbent president Sonia Gandhi to steer the helm of the party for some more time, said reports

There have been no changes in the AICC secretariat since the last Lok Sabha polls in which the party had its worst ever performance by securing just 44 seats in the 543-member House.
Rahul was made party Vice President in January 2013 at the Jaipur Chintan shivir held over a year ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in which he was the ‘face’ of the party.

Since then Rahul has been more active in the organisation, with his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi taking a backseat. There has been talk since last year, soon after his return from his mysterious 56-day sabbatical, that Rahul would take over as the party chief soon.
Party leaders also virtually threw a protective ring around Rahul by rejecting suggestions that the party Vice President should accept blame for its debacle in four states assembly polls.
Sonia is at the helm of the party since March 1998 and has created a record of sorts by being the longest serving chief of the Congress. Incidentally, Congress is the oldest political organisation in the country founded way back in 1885.