Is stage set for Rahul Gandhi’s return as Congress chief?

New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) Ahead of the crucial election for the Congress chief’s post, Sonia Gandhi in a meeting with party leaders has tried to partially defuse the tension simmering internally and has also been successful in giving the ‘all is well’ message to the party cadre.
The outcome of the meeting with top party leaders on Saturday ended on a positive note when one of the dissenters, who wrote the letter for the sweeping reforms, Prithviraj Chavan said,said, “19 leaders of the Congress met and discussed about the strengthening of the party and to decide the future course. It is the first meeting. More meetings will take place. ‘Chintan shivir’ like the ones held in Panchamarhi and Shimla will be held to strengthen the party. The suggestions of the party leaders will be recorded. The meeting was held in a very fruitful environment.”
The ‘fruitful’ word was the outcome of the meeting, which means that Sonia Gandhi was able to control the situation and set the stage for the return of Rahul Gandhi as the party President. As Pawan Bansal said, “There is no objection on the name of Rahul Gandhi as President. No one has problem with Rahul Gandhi. This question is not for today, everybody said that we need Rahul Gandhi’s leadership and we must not fall into the trap of other people who are trying to distract from the party’s agenda.”
The same sentiments were expressed by Ashok Gehlot, who said everyone wanted that Rahul Gandhi should takeover and expose the BJP. Sources in the party meeting said, “Rahul Gandhi in his remarks said that he is ready to work as the party wants, but the source pointed out that he also asserted that ‘whoever’ takes over as the party president each of them will work together.
The Election process in the party is on and by the end of the next month party may hold elections for the party president’s post.
The Congress’ Rahul camp leader Randeep Surjewala, who is also the General Secretary of the party, on Friday said: “Congress workers, including AICC leaders, will choose a person who is best suited for the post of the party chief. It is my belief and many of many 99.9 per cent of the Congress leaders and workers feel that Rahul Gandhi is the right person to lead the party and take on the Modi government,”
But still the path to the elevation is not an easy process provided the list of the dissenters is increasing. The intervention from Sonia Gandhi may make the differences for the time being but it is true that several leaders are not comfortable with the coterie that works with Rahul Gandhi, said an insider. So any attempt to push a proxy may not yield good results and while there may be no opposition for Rahul Gandhi, but the Rahul 2 will not be able to have a free run either as the dissenters will push for parliamentary boards revival and also deliberations in the CWC and no decisions will be one sided. So the Congress’ impending crisis has subsided but the real problem remains “how will the party counter Modi”.
The real challenge remains as the Congress is only in government in three big states and sharing the government in two others, but the BJP has wiped the Congress in the Northeast. Its safe citadel in the south has been taken over by the regional parties,so the party needs new ideas and narrative to take on the BJP.

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