Moments after Rahul Gandhi tweeted his resignation from the post of party president saying that it was an honour for him to serve the Congress party and claming that there were times when he alone took on the entire machinery of the Indian state, top party sources have said to Republic that there is already an internal tussle ongoing within the party about who will become the next party president, and also in the larger sense, which direction the party will head and under whose control. While one group of loyalists allegedly wants the leadership to remain with the Gandhi-Vadra family, the other faction want young leaders like Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia and others who have demonstrated leadership chops to take the Grand Old Party forward.
Top sources said that there is factionalism within the Congress party between the old gaurd of loyalists and the young guns. The name that has cropped up as a potential successor among the latter grouping is that of Sachin Pilot who is currently the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Sources have informed that since the Rajasthan Assembly elections, an internal tussle brewing has been brewing between both factions. In Rajasthan assembly elections, Sachin Pilot had lost out amid similar circumstances as Ashok Gehlot was picked to be CM, just as in Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia was overlooked in favour of loyalist Kamal Nath. The decision hadn't gone well with the Sachin Pilot camp then, and hence, in an attempt to salvage the situation, Pilot was chosen as the Deputy CM, as per sources.
Among the old gaurd, leaders like AK Antony, Prithviraj Chavan, Kamal Nath wants the leadership to be with the Gandhi family loyalists. Earlier, Party veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar had said :
"I am sure we can survive if we have to without a Nehru-Gandhi as the titular head of the party, provided the Nehru-Gandhis remain active in the party and can help resolve a crisis in case serious differences arise."
Months after this internal conflict, following the Congress being decimated in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Rahul Gandhi declared in the CWC meeting that he will resign owning the poll debacle. The entire party leadership had then rejected the his resignation saying he was the only one who could take the party forward, in what was deemed a drama. However, on July 3, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's son Rahul Gandhi declared that he will no more be the party president.
Here is Rahul Gandhi's resignation letter:
Earlier in another scoop, Republic had learnt from the Congress insiders that there are factions. 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.