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NEW DELHI: Amid seeming delay in Rahul Gandhi’s elevation, all eyes are on a meeting of the AICC incharges of states to be chaired by the party vice-president on Monday.
The discussions may revolve around preparations for the agitation on the anniversary of demonetisation on November 8 which the opposition has decided to observe as “black day”. The meeting may also take stock of the plans for the birth anniversary of late PM Indira Gandhi.
However, since the meeting will be chaired by Rahul Gandhi, there may also be a discussion on his election as the party chief.
Rahul’s elevation is seen as imminent since the CEC’s deadline for organisational polls expires on December 31. However, the seeming delay in clinching the process – schedule prepared by AICC’s central election authority set a deadline of October 25 – has touched off fresh bout of speculations among partymen.
Amid the delay, the All India Congress Committee is learnt to have asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to convene the meeting of the Congress Working Committee to kickstart the process for the elevation of Rahul Gandhi.
It is learnt that AICC has written to the party chief as part of “routine process” since organisational elections are awaiting completion with the sole pending agenda of election of new Congress president.
Procedurally, the CWC has to approve the election schedule to start the process. While there is no sign of the CWC meet yet, the approaching polls to Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will encroach upon the time available with the leadership for Rahul’s election.
Many believe it cannot be left for the post-poll period since the results on December 18 will leave only 12 days for the party to clinch the issue. It will anyway be politically risky since performance in the two states is seen as uncertain.
According to an office-bearer, a possibility now is that Rahul may take charge on the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi on November 19, following which he is likely to address a rally in Chikmagalur on November 20 or 21.
The scenic town in Karnataka is important in Congress history because Indira Gandhi contested a by-election from Chikmagalur in 1978 which was followed by Congress’s return to power in 1980.