In a sensational development amid the turmoil and tumult within the Congress following its catastrophic 2019 Lok Sabha election results, sources have told Republic TV that the party has kick-started the formulation of a mechanism that will result in the choosing of a new party 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).
Furthermore, along with defining the roles and responsibilities of a number of Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi will also soon be departing on a tour of his new constituency Wayanad in Kerala, sources added.
The information comes even as the Congress 'first family' is meeting at Rahul Gandhi's residence following the latter calling for another meeting of the CWC earlier on Tuesday, with sources claiming that he was adamant on resigning from the post of party president.
At the previous CWC meeting, his resignation offer was rejected as the party instead allegedly unanimously asked him to remain and guide them, and even bestowed upon him full authority to overhaul the party.
Counsel for Rahul Gandhi to not quit as Congress chief has also on Tuesday come from ally Lalu Prasad Yadav who has called the resignation decision "suicidal", opining that as soon as a non-Nehru-Gandhi family member takes over the role, they would be painted as a 'puppet' by the BJP. Lalu Prasad also blamed regional parties for not projecting Rahul Gandhi as a Prime Ministerial face as it was required to take on the BJP and Narendra Modi irrespective of the Opposition's seat-share bargaining. Additionally, leaders such as Sheila Dikshit and others have continued to throw their weight behind Rahul Gandhi.
Sources have informed Republic of factions within the Congress not being satisfied with the party's decision to not effect a change at the top after the poll debacle, which saw the Congress effectively being whitewashed in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh - two states where they had only recently formed governments, and Rahul Gandhi also losing his Amethi bastion to Smriti Irani.
As per Congress insiders, AK Antony and Sachin Pilot are among those whose names are being strongly touted, whereas Prithviraj Chavan is considered a dark horse in the race.
Since the May 23 results in which the Congress managed to win just 52 seats - six more than its lowest-ever Lok Sabha polls tally in 2014 - the resignations have come in thick and fast, and from all over the country.
Congress chiefs of Madhya Pradesh (M.P CM Kamal Nath), Uttar Pradesh (Raj Babbar), Odisha (Niranjan Patnaik), Assam (Ripun Bora), Jharkhand (Dr Ajoy Kumar), Punjab (Sunil Jhakar, on account of his own loss to BJP's Sunny Deol in Gurdaspur) are among the many names that have resigned.
As per sources, following the result, Rahul Gandhi had also blamed senior Congress leaders for putting their sons' tickets and elections ahead of party interests. Chidambaram, Gehlot and Kamal Nath had sons contesting the Lok Sabha polls.