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Tue. Oct 4th, 2022
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NAGERCOIL (KANYAKUMARI): Adding a fresh twist to the ongoing suspense about the Congress president’s post, Rahul Gandhi on Friday said if he does not file nomination for the presidential election, then he can be asked the reason for that. But Rahul also said that he was very clear in his mind about his decision and “there is no confusion”.
At a press conference he addressed during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul was peppered with queries about why he has refused to take over the Congress leadership.
Rahul said, “Whether I become the party president or I don’t, it will become clear when the presidential election take place. So, wait till that time, you will see. If I don’t stand (for the AICC polls), then you ask me why I didn’t stand. I will answer… I have made my decision very clear.”
He later added, “I have very clearly decided in my mind what I am going to do. There is no confusion in my mind.”
With no official word on whether Rahul has reconsidered his reluctance to assume the Congress leadership which he quit after the 2019 election defeat, his responses just a fortnight before the poll process starts on September 24 triggered feverish speculations.
Though Rahul’s statement that he should be asked about the presidency only if he does not run, suggested that the Gandhi scion has left the issue open with the possibility of being persuaded by the entreaties of party leaders and aides, senior members asserted that his response about “having no confusion about his decision” implied a categorical refusal to leadership.
To another query, Rahul said there was no contradiction in his not being the AICC president and yet taking out the Bharat Jodo Yatra. He clarified that “I am not leading the yatra, I am participating in it” because he believes in the ideals of Congress and is a worker.
The suspense is likely to persist for a few days more. Sources said if Rahul does not agree and there is a deadlock in view of the Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s conditions for shifting from Jaipur to the AICC, then the top brass has readied a couple of fallback options to avoid a vacuum. AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik is seen as an alternative, with his being relieved of the charge of Madhya Pradesh on Thursday seen as readying him for an exigency. Mallikarjun Kharge is another option, though two more senior leaders are said to be considered as emergency options.

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