In a big scoop amid the tumult within the Congress party following the devastating defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections wherein the party managed to win just 52 seats across the country and suffered a number of specific humblings, such as losing heavily in states in which it had only formed state governments and Rahul Gandhi personally losing in Amethi, Republic TV has learnt that there is a faction within the Congress that wants a change of guard at the top.
Even as the word from the Congress Working Committee meeting that is ongoing on Saturday continues to be that Rahul Gandhi offered to resign but other senior leaders including Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh attempted to convince him against it, sources have told Republic TV that there is an internal clamour for somoene else to take over, with the top names being reigning Congress Chief Ministers such as Captain Amarinder Singh, Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath.
However, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath is not attending the CWC meeting allegedly on account of the troubles being faced by his government following the BJP winning 28 out of 29 seats in the state. Similarly, Ashok Gehlot faces a challenge as the Congress lost each one of the 25 seats in the state.
In light of this, one of the few viable names that remain is that of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh under whose leadership the Congress has seen two back-to-back successes in the state - the 2017 state assembly elections, and now, the Lok Sabha polls in the state which saw the Congress withstanding the Modi Wave and winning eight seats out of a total of 13. The BJP-Akali Dal combine won just four seats in all while the Aam Aadmi Party won just one.
As things stand, Rahul Gandhi is clinging on to the post of party president. This has drawn criticism from the BJP which has said tht the Congress is now functioning as no more than a regional party:
"This is like any other regional party, controlled by a family, and that is likely to stay the way it is," said GVL Narasimha Rao while speaking to Republic TV.
The CWC meeting is being attended by a number of top Congress leaders. Apart from Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Captain Amarinder Singh, P Chidambaram, AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Sheila Dikshit, KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and others.