In a major development, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday has skipped the important Congress meet currently underway in the AICC New Delhi Headquarters, chaired by his mother Sonia Gandhi. This is the first meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi since taking up the post of interim-party president. The meeting comprises of all the top Congress party leaders across the nation including all state general secretaries, as per sources. The reason for his absence is unknown, as of now. Apart from Gandhi, Kamal Nath is also conspicuously absent from the meeting.
The party is set to state decide its strategy for upcoming state elections after the 2019 Lok Sabha drubbing, as per sources. According to ANI, the party will appoint 'Preraks' or 'motivators' at the district level across the country to boost its ground level outreach. Experts have stated that this move by Congress is similar to that of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)'s functioning model. The 'Preraks' will reportedly be given training for several days and will work on the party agenda at a ground-level.
Top leaders in attendance include former PM Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, KC Venugopal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia. All Congress general secretaries are scheduled to meet on Friday as well to address the various issues. Apart from strategy, the meeting has also been called to discuss preparations for Gandhi Jayanti. Previously, the party had announced that party workers will carry out padayatra across the country, wearing Gandhi topis and holding seminars to celebrate the Mahatma's birth anniversary.
Meanwhile, Congress is currently going through internal turmoil. Senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia had reportedly given an ultimatum to the party that he will resign if not made Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) head. He had also skipped Priyanka Gandhi's meeting which was scheduled on Friday. He is set to meet Sonia Gandhi to discuss the same. Top leaders have expressly denied any rift between the High Command and Scindia.
Congress also suffered a major setback in Maharashtra on Tuesday when former Maharashtra minister Kripashankar Singh quit the party. Kripashankar Singh's resignation was the second blow to the Congress in a single day after actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar resigned earlier on the same day. Apart from them, Haryana's women's wing chief Sumitra Chouhan submitted her resignation and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday. The party has seen a continuous string of resignations since Rahul Gandhi's resignation on May 25, after losing the Lok Sabha polls to BJP.