No matter who the Cong president is, Rahul will always hold the top position in the party: Chidambaram

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Rahul Gandhi will always hold a “pre-eminent role” in the party regardless of whether he is president or not, according to senior Congressman P Chidambaram, who on Sunday favoured a consensus for the AICC leadership position. Gandhi is also the “acknowledged leader” of the party’s rank and file.

Just days before elections to choose the AICC chairman are announced, former Union minister and Congress Working Committee member Rahul Gandhi stated he had so far declined to assume the mantle of party president but may alter his mind.

Chidambaram claimed in an interview with PTI that there was no justification for any controversy surrounding the fairness and transparency of the party president elections, and that the issue would have been settled had Madhusudan Mistry, the chairman of the Central Election Authority, made his final statement regarding the worries of some of the leaders on the first day.

He said the PCC-specific electoral roll will be available for inspection at the office of the PCC concerned, while the all-India electoral roll will be available for inspection at the office of the AICC, underscoring the fact that it is not the practise of any political party to publish the electoral college roll.

“A copy of the electoral roll is available to each candidate who has been nominated. After Mr. Mistry clarified these obvious points, the MPs declared themselves satisfied. The matter is closed, according to Chidambaram.

The party’s poll panel chief responded to Mistry’s letter from Lok Sabha members Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tewari, Karti Chidambaram, Pradyut Bordoloi, and Abdul Khaleque, clarifying that anyone wishing to file a nomination for the position of Congress president will be able to see the list of the more than 9,000 PCC delegates at the AICC’s central election authority office starting on September 20.

P Chidambaram further questioned whether the media had brought up these concerns during BJP or any other party’s party elections.

I don’t remember Mr. J. P. Nadda requesting the electoral roll or submitting his nomination, he exclaimed.

When asked whether elections or consensus would be preferable for the position of AICC president, Chidambaram responded that while voting is the norm, consensus election is “the better way” that “all parties follow.”

If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Nadda, Mr. Amit Shah, Mr. Rajnath Singh, and Mr. Gadkari were all chosen by consensus, the speaker remarked.

Chidambaram claimed he was uncertain of Gandhi’s propensity to heed the cries of party members and leaders.

“Rahul Gandhi is recognised as the leader of the party’s rank and file. They also want him to be the party’s president. He has so far declined. He could alter his mind, said the top Congressman, according to PTI.

When asked if the Gandhi family would still hold a prominent position in the party if a non-Congress president was chosen, Chidambaram cited the history of the Congress, pointing out that Mahatma Gandhi served as the party’s official leader from 1921 to 1948, followed by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, one after the other.

“Aside from the Leader, a number of people held the position of party president for one, two, or three years. There have been extended stretches in the history of Congress when the Leader and the President were distinct people, as well as brief instances when they were the same person.

Rahul Gandhi would serve as the party’s official leader and president if he is chosen to lead the Congress, according to the Rajya Sabha MP, but if not, someone else will assume the position of president.

Chidambaram declared that Rahul Gandhi “would always have a preeminent place in the party.”

The senior official responded that the office of Congress president carries with it a rich heritage and history, vast powers, and huge duties when asked if a non-Gandhi family member will command the same respect and authority. He went on to say, “I am confident that whoever is elected as president of the Congress will rise to the occasion and command respect among the leaders and rank and file of the party.

The process for submitting nominations will take place from September 24 to September 30. The notification for the election of the Congress president will be released on September 22.

The deadline for withdrawing nominations is October 8 and, if necessary, the election will take place on October 17. On October 19, the outcomes will be released. Speaking of the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which kicked off on September 7 in Kanyakumari, Chidambaram claimed that from what he observed in Tamil Nadu on the first two days and from what he has heard from his colleagues in Kerala, a significant number of dormant Congressmen and women and sympathisers came out of their homes and joined the padayatra for short or long distances.

He claimed that many hundreds more people applauded and greeted Rahul Gandhi and the yatris from the side of the road.

“It indicates that the elephant has woken up. A timeless yet contemporary message is being heard by thousands of people: “This country cannot be allowed to be divided by hate, anger, or intercommunal strife; love, tolerance, and fraternity will unite the people of the country; and such unity alone can lay the foundation for economic and social progress,” Chidambaram said.

He asserted that this message differs significantly from the divisive and hateful ones we have heard over the previous seven years.

Chidambaram quoted a poem by Tamil poet Subramania Bharati from a century ago that read, “Come forth to undertake a big deed so that this country may rise as one! Come, please.

He predicted that the message would “rejuvenate and invigorate” the Congress as it spread throughout the nation.

Regarding the BJP’s criticism of the yatra, Chidambaram claimed that the opposition party was unprepared for the level of reaction that the yatra had elicited and that its leaders had resorted to spreading false information, lying, making fun of, and abusing people.