In a clear sign of discontent brewing among Congress rank and file, two major feeder organisations of the party have come out demanding an immediate fix for the leadership crisis in the party. The All India Professionals' Congress (AIPC) has passed a resolution while the Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) has shot off a letter to the party leadership expressing their concerns over the rudderless state of the party after the resignation of Rahul Gandhi as its president following the rout in the Lok Sabha polls.
Rahul made his resignation public on July 3 and the Congress Working Committee is yet to meet to find a replacement for him.
With chances of Rahul recalling his decision remaining bleak now, both AIPC and IOC argue that it's high time the party found a solution to the leadership impasse.
“Although we prefer to see Rahul Gandhi withdraw his resignation and take charge in reorganizing the party, we realize that such a scenario is increasingly unlikely. Therefore, we are genuinely concerned about the prolonged absence of authority at the top and the resultant ramification down to the grass-root level. The recent developments in Karnataka and Goa may be examples due to such a lack of decisive leadership at the top,” IOC said in its letter.
The AIPC resolution echoes similar sentiments. “Even after two months, Congress could not arrive at an alternate arrangement or an interim arrangement after the resignation of its president. Any further delay in the decision will only worsen the affairs. Moreover, though we are not elected to power we cannot forget that the people of India have chosen us as the Opposition for the country. It's high time that Congress party came out of the present impasse and acted as a responsible opposition. If not, we will be failing in our democratic and moral duty to the nation,” the resolution, moved by AIPC Kerala president Mathew Kuzhalnadan, reads.
Asked about the circumstances that led to the resolution, Kuzhalnadan told Onmanorama that it reflected the common feelings of AIPC members. “The party cadre are disappointed and demoralised after the resignation of Rahul Gandhi. There is a shared feeling among the AIPC members that the party is going directionless. We have to look into the party Constitution to overcome this stalemate,” he said.
Kuzhalnadan also expressed the outfit's disappointment over the way the Congress reacted to the recent UAPA amendment bill and the Jammu and Kashmir bifurcation bill. He said senior leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia were criticised at the AIPC forum for supporting the Kashmir bill against the party's proclaimed stance. The Congress had also voted in Rajya Sabha in favour of the UAPA Bill allowing the government to designate individuals as terrorists.
Kuzhalnadan said the resolution was highly appreciated by party workers and sympathisers.
The IOC has, in its letter, listed out 10 recommendations to rebuild the party. First of them is to “pass the baton to a new generation for leadership.”
“Although there is little doubt that the party would benefit from the experience and wisdom of their senior leaders, it is time for them to step back and give the opportunity to many of the young and dynamic leaders within the party. Therefore, the CWC should appoint a capable younger leader to take the reins and move forward,” it says.
The other recommendations include a request to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to be the president for one year with four vice-presidents, restructure CWC with more young, energetic and dynamic leaders at the national as well as state-level, build strong social media presence and appoint AICC task force to address EVM issues.
The letter has been signed by IOC leaders from USA, Australia, Germany, CARICOM Region and Balkan.