Citing ‘general sentiment’, more state units back Rahul for Congress chief

Amid strong indications that Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor is considering contesting elections for the Congress president’s post, two more state units — Haryana and Jharkhand — on Tuesday passed resolutions backing Rahul Gandhi for the post.

Party leaders in Kerala indicated that the state unit is in favour of Rahul taking up the post he had relinquished in 2019, after Congress’s drubbing in the General Election. Former Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, told the media in Alappuzha that the general feeling in the state unit of the party is that Rahul Gandhi should take the helms. “There is no need to pass a resolution in this regard, as some other state units have done. It is up to Tharoor to speak out whether he is contesting to become the party’s national president,’’ he said.

Lok Sabha MP from Vadakara in Kerala and former Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, K Muraleedharan, said, “Whoever contests for the post, only a person with support of the Nehru (Gandhi) family will become the president.”
In Chandigarh, the Haryana unit (HPCC) passed two resolutions: one requesting Rahul to take over as party chief while considering “sentiments of all”, and a second empowering the Congress president to appoint PCC office-bearers. Announcing the resolution, HPCC president Udai Bhan told the media, “The resolution to make Rahul Gandhi the party’s national president was unanimously passed. In the meeting, all of us agreed that we urge Rahul Gandhi to file the nomination for the post of president.” The PCCs in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra and J&K have already passed similar resolutions.

In Ranchi, the party’s Jharkhand in-charge, Avinash Pandey said, “All our leaders in unanimity decided and passed a resolution that Rahul Gandhi should be AICC chief.” Stating that party leaders and workers in Jharkhand want Rahul as AICC president, PCC chief Rajesh Thakur said, “He should decide on PCC chiefs, too.”

Leaders from the G-23 grouping have not found much support in the party’s Kerala unit. While former Rajya Sabha member P J Kurien has not been active in the party, another veteran Congressman, K V Thomas, who had raised a rebellion against Rahul, has been completely sidelined.

In Chandigarh, former Haryana CM and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, said: “The party will welcome its leader, Rahul Gandhi, and all those participating in the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra when it reaches Haryana. There will be an unprecedented presence of Congress workers to welcome the Yatra.”

On the occasion, the party’s state unit also finalised the list of 195 delegates to bolster its rank and file at the ground level.

The resolution was passed at the a meeting of new representatives and MLAs of HPCC under chairmanship of former MP Tarachand Bhagora, the Pradesh Returning Officer (PRO), Hooda, state unit chief Udai Bhan, HPCC working presidents, MLAs and senior leaders.

The proposal was presented unanimously and authorises the Congress president to nominate the HPCC president, vice-president, treasurer, executive member, state election committee and AICC members from the state. Senior leaders approved it and all delegates unanimously passed the resolution by raising their hands, it was informed.

With inputs from Abhishek Angad in Jharkhand

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