On the sidelines of the on-going resignation row in the Congress party, the Congress president Rahul Gandhi met with NCP chief Sharad Pawar at his residence in the national capital after being routed in the Lok Sabha 2019 elections.
After deciding to extend the alliance of their parties from the national polls to the state polls, Republic Media Network has learned that the meeting between the Congress-NCP chiefs was held to strategise for the Assembly elections that will be held late this year.
Earlier, ahead of the 2014 Assembly elections, the NCP-Congress had parted ways for failing to reach on a consensus over the seat-sharing formula, again joined hands for the Lok Sabha 2019 elections. However, the Congress-NCP coalition won only 6 seats (4 by NCP and 2 by Congress) out of the total 48 seats and was outdone by the saffron alliance of BJP-Shiv Sena in the state.
In 2014 Assembly elections, Congress won 42 seats, NCP 42, whereas BJP won 122 and Shiv Sena secured 63 out of the 288 seats in Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi is still insistent on his drama to quit his position as the Congress president. As per sources, the Congress will formulate this mechanism and decide on its next party chief within three months. During this time, current party president Rahul Gandhi will continue to remain in the role and discharge his duties, including the overhaul of the party that he has been empowered to carry out by the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
So far, several top leaders have met Gandhi and urged him to continue to lead the party. Sources said that despite senior members making serious attempts to convince the 48-year-old party chief to rethink his decision, he remains unfazed.
These leaders, sources said, maintained that Congress cannot afford to have someone new at the helm for rebuilding the organisation at this juncture and that the responsibility for the defeat is collective and not individual.
Along with that, amid political uncertainty within the party following the severe drubbing it received in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress on Thursday barred its spokespersons from representing the party on news channel debates for a month. Taking to Twitter, Congress communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala requested all media channels and its editors to not place any Congress representatives on their shows.
(With ANI inputs)