New Delhi: Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi presided over the party’s election committee meeting here on Saturday to decide on the candidates for the Maharashtra Assembly polls. However, the absence of former party President Rahul Gandhi was noticed more. Replying to a query, Rahul Gandhi’s office said that he didn’t attend the meeting as he’s not a member of the election panel.
Of late, Rahul Gandhi has been giving a slip to important party meetings. He didn’t attend the September 12 meet, chaired by Sonia Gandhi, where a slew of decisions were taken and the national economic situation was also discussed. The meeting, meant for party general secretaries, state in-charges, state unit chiefs and leaders of the Congress legislative parties, was also attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior party leader A.K. Antony. When asked about Rahul Gandhi, party leader R.P.N. Singh said the meeting was only for party general secretaries and state in-charges.
To scotch speculation, the party listed the activities of Rahul Gandhi, who’s a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). He had attended the August 10 CWC meeting, which took up the issue of the new party President, and was also present at the CWC sitting convened to discuss the abrogation of Article 370. He also tried to visit Srinagar with a delegation of opposition leaders, toured Wayanad, his Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, and also wrote letters to the Prime Minister and other ministers regarding the flood situation there.
Rahul Gandhi quit as Congress President after the party’s dismal show in the Lok Sabha polls, and refused to be persuaded to review his decision. He maintained that no Gandhi should take over as the party chief. But three months later, senior leaders decided that Sonia Gandhi should take over as the interim party chief. However, Congress sources said that he would participate in the ‘padyatra’ to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2. The party has planned ‘padyatras’ across the country to celebrate the occasion. (IANS)