With the Congress being confronted with Rahul Gandhi’s obstinacy in not withdrawing his resignation as the party president, Aslam Sher Khan, an ex-union minister and a Hockey Olympian, has offered to take over the top post.
In a letter addressed to Rahul Gandhi, Khan offered to replace Gandhi as the Congress president for a period of two years.
He said if the party president wanted someone outside the Gandhi family for the post, he was ready for it.
He said he had written the letter because the Congress had lost the elections for the second time and the party does not have an official opposition in the Lok Sabha as it won only 52 seats. He said not having an opposition is a grave injustice to the nation’s parliamentary democratic values.
In his letter, Khan said the “need of the hour is to score an equalizer against the BJP by bringing the Congress party back to the grass-roots and into the hearts and minds of the masses once again.”
With Rahul Gandhi firm on his decision to not withdraw his resignation as Congress President, the party has got into the process of refining its model of having multiple working presidents to run the party.
After much confabulation and distillation of thought over the new hierarchy, the party leadership is reportedly veering around to the consensus view that there should be two working presidents, with one of them preferably being from southern India. There is also a proposal that the working presidents should be from among the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Some names have reportedly been proposed in this connection, said party sources. They include Sushilkumar Shinde and Mallikarjun Kharge, both Scheduled Caste leaders. In the mix is Jyotiraditya Scindia as well so that the younger element is also assuaged.
Meanwhile, the Gandhis have decided that they will distance themselves from the party following the election debacle.
The party had earlier considered a proposal for three working presidents, one each from the north, south and eastern India, and perhaps a fourth from western India.