Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar on Tuesday appealed to Rahul Gandhi to take over as the party’s national president in this “hour of crisis" and to “save" it. He said only the Gandhi family (Indira, Rajiv Gandhi) can keep the country and the party united and that Rahul Gandhi becoming the Congress president once again was the demand of partymen across India.
“I appeal to Rahul ji, in this hour of crisis, you please accept the demand of the Congressmen of this country, you take over. Please don’t refuse the Congress’ presidentship, for the sake of saving this party and the country," Shivakumar said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, “Only the Gandhi family can keep this country and the party united. Please accept (president post of Congress), you are working hard, you have to protect this country, you have to take the responsibility of the Congress Presidentship."
Shivakumar’s appeal came as the Congress grappled with the situation in Rajasthan where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s loyalists have submitted resignation letters to Assembly Speaker C P Joshi, in an apparent bid to put pressure on the central leadership to pick someone from the Gehlot camp as CM if the veteran leader is elected the party president.
The loyalist MLAs have indicated they were against the appointment of Sachin Pilot, who led a rebellion against Gehlot in 2020, to the post. The Congress is in the process of electing its president to succeed Sonia Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi, her son, who has occupied the position in the past, is said to have declined it, despite pressure on him to take over.
The polling, if needed for the post, is scheduled to be held on October 17. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and the results will be declared the same day.