NEW DELHI: As the Congress prepares to elect its new chief, many names are under consideration after Rahul Gandhi refused to give a second thought to his decision of holding no post in the party, sources have said.
The names doing the rounds are loyalists from the party, which include Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik and Kumari Selja. However, the party still hopes that Rahul Gandhi will lead the party, which is facing its worst time. Some people are also floating the name of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, but there is no clarity since she is looking after the tough assignment of Uttar Pradesh, where the party performance is near zero.
Also, the Congress, in the interim, is chalking out plan B to continue Sonia Gandhi as party president and appoint a working president for each zone, an idea mooted some time ago.
Another name doing rounds is that of Sonia Gandhi loyalist Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who is also under active consideration. But Gehlot has reportedly denied the top post and asserted that Rahul Gandhi should take over as the party president.
The Congress schedule was to begin the process from Sunday (August 21), but the congress working committee (CWC) meeting has not been called yet. Sources say that the CWC nod is not required as it has already given its go ahead, and party sources also say that the election will be held on schedule.
Some leaders from the Scheduled Castes who could be given the top post include Sushil Kumar Shinde, Mallikarjun Kharge and Meira Kumar. Kharge is Rahul Gandhi’s confidante and can be instrumental in the Karnataka polls.
However, sources said that former party President Rahul Gandhi has lined up a series of meetings with the state units. He also plans to visit every district in the country in the run-up to the general elections. The plan is yet to be finalised.
Rahul Gandhi’s insistence on a non-Gandhi taking over the position has left the party in a dilemma. Leaders close to him have been trying to convince him to re-assume the post.