Monday, 30th October 2017

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Rahul Gandhi meets ex-PM Manmohan Singh and allies

Rahul has also called RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav to Delhi to discuss the electoral rout

  • Published 31.05.19, 2:43 AM
  • Updated 31.05.19, 2:43 AM
  • a min read
Rahul Gandhi with H.D. Kumaraswamy in New Delhi on May 30, 2019. (PTI)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met allies Sharad Pawar and H.D. Kumaraswamy in addition to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and some other Congress leaders, coming out of self-imposed isolation after five days.

Rahul has also called RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav to Delhi to discuss the electoral rout.

Congress sources said they now expected clarity on the leadership question sooner than later. Rahul has decided to quit as party chief in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha election debacle, but party leaders and workers and allies have requested him to change his mind.

On Thursday, Rahul also attended the swearing-in of the new government along with mother Sonia Gandhi.

After Rahul drove to Pawar’s residence, there was a swirl of speculation, the most interesting being a possible merger of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with the Congress.

Pawar had formed the NCP after being expelled from the Congress when he raised the issue of Sonia’s foreign origin. They have buried the hatchet since and established a rapport to work together as partners.

NCP sources promptly dis¬missed the speculation of a merger. Pawar himself tweeted that Rahul discussed with him the Assembly elections in Maharashtra scheduled later this year.

The two leaders are said to have discussed the reasons behind the Lok Sabha election disaster and the future strategy at the meeting that lasted over an hour.

Sources said Pawar advised Rahul not to insist on quitting the post of Congress chief.

Karnataka chief minister and JDS leader Kumaraswamy said: “I met Rahul Gandhi. I have requested him not to step down from the party president’s post.”

Kumaraswamy said he had assured Rahul that there was no threat to the Karnataka coalition government despite the poor showing in the parliamentary elections.

Other coalition partners — the RJD and the DMK — too have urged Rahul not to relinquish his post.

A top Congress leader said on condition of anonymity: “We hope Rahulji understands how important his leadership is in this critical time and agrees to continue.”

Rebel BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, however, tweeted: “If Rahul Gandhi does not stand firm on his resignation, he will lose further in public estimation. Let the party be run by a presidium or any other arrangement at least for some time.”