New Delhi, Aug 10: As part of efforts to speed up the process of selection of the new Congress chief, the Congress Working Committee on Saturday set up five committees to hold broader consultations on the issue with various PCC chiefs, AICC secretaries and CLP leaders even as it urged Rahul Gandhi to reconsider his resignation. The five panels, one of which is headed by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will record the views of various party leaders and submit its report on Saturday evening to the CWC , which would meet again later on Saturday to decide on the issue, AICC media incharge randeep Surjewala told reporters here.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul have, however, recused themselves from the selection process. "Neither I nor Rahul are part of any of the panels. It is a mistake that our names were added to the groups," Sonia told reporters earlier on Saturday. Sources said the panels had been formed on the suggestions of Rahul who felt that a broader consultation should be conducted before a new leader is chosen. His sister and AICC general secretary for Uttar Pradesh east Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is, however, part of the selection process. The panels will collect feedback from leaders across the country.
Earlier, the CWC again urged Rahul to reconsider his resignation. However, Rahul, while thanking the workers of the party, rejected the CWC request and said his decision not to withdraw his resignation was final. Congress spokesperson Surjewala said Rahul gave the assurance that he would continue to work with full force along with leaders and workers to take on the BJP Government. Over the past few weeks, several party leaders have called for an early decision on the new party chief to end the feeling of uncertainty within the party. Many party leaders have favoured a young leader for the post of the new party president. These include Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora suggested the name of party leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot to take up the responsibility. Leaders like Murli Deora, Shashi Tharoor and Abhishek Manu Singhvi have said an interim president be appointed at the earliest. Infact, ahead of the CWC meet, he said, "On Saturday, a consensus builder party pres INC must be selected. Slightest delay is not an option. In a lighter vein, I gave an analogy of wise men of Vatican locked in a room indefinitely until they got a nomination! Subsequently, it has to be followed by full intra party elections."UNI