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2-min read

Vivek Tankha Out, More Heads May Roll in Congress After Rahul's Refusal to Continue as Chief Sparks Crisis

Ahead of the Congress Working Committee meeting, sources said all department heads could step down, signalling a leadership crisis in the party.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18_pallavighosh

Updated:June 28, 2019, 11:10 AM IST
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Vivek Tankha Out, More Heads May Roll in Congress After Rahul's Refusal to Continue as Chief Sparks Crisis
File photos of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)
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New Delhi: The Congress’s troubles, which began with a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections and the subsequent refusal by sulking party chief Rahul Gandhi to continue in his post, seem to be far from over.

A day after senior Congress leader and advocate Vivek Tankha quit from the post of chairperson of the All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) legal human rights and RTI department, sources in the party said more heads were likely to roll. Ahead of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, sources said all department heads could step down, signalling a leadership crisis in the party.

The Congress has been embroiled in a crisis since Rahul Gandhi expressed his desire to step down from his post though the CWC, in a meeting on May 25, turned down his proposal. While several leaders have called upon Rahul Gandhi to continue as party chief, the Wayanad MP has remained firm.

On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi said he took the decision to ensure accountability for the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle and there was no question of going back on it. “I have resigned after taking full responsibility and ensuring accountability for the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. I cannot ask others to resign too. It is up to them if they want to take responsibility," he told the leaders.

However, in private, he has expressed his anger and disgust with many leaders who continue to cling to their posts. When youth Congress volunteers met him, Rahul Gandhi told them, “No one resigned.”

Tankha is the first to do so and he has made a smart move. Realising that there was no way Rahul Gandhi would take back his resignation and with his anger mounting at leaders doing nothing about accepting responsibility, some leaders have realised that giving up their posts could endear themselves to Rahul Gandhi and they may have a future then within the Congress.

Ahead of the CWC meeting, resignations by leaders would show they do not want to cling to their posts. This could redeem them in the Congress chief’s eyes. Even if Rahul Gandhi does not retain his post, his stamp and influence is bound to hang on and if he does stay on, these people could be part of his team.

When Sonia Gandhi stayed away from politics post Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination and Kesri had begun to build his team, many like Anand Sharma stuck on with former. This explains why Sharma continues to enjoy a special place. Loyalty pays and many who resign are hoping it would do the same for them in future.

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