Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met with Lok Sabha MPs from his party in New Delhi. While rejecting the request of his colleagues to withdraw his resignation as party president, Mr Gandhi said he is resigning to take responsibility for the poll debacle of his party in the recent Lok Sabha elections. He also asserted that he is committed to fighting the RSS and the BJP and has become a fanatic towards this cause.
Hockey Olympian and former Union minister Aslam Sher Khan has reportedly staked a claim to the Congress president’s post, in place of Rahul Gandhi. The news comes even as suspense continues over Rahul’s latest stance on quitting the position.
According to Hindustan Times, Khan wrote a letter to the Congress president, offering his “services to the party”, taking responsibility “as a provisional Congress president for a time-bound period of two years only.”
Khan was part of the Indian hockey team that won the 1975 World Cup at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. He joined the Congress and got elected as an MP from Madhya Pradesh in 1984 and 1991. He lost the 2004 Lok Sabha election from Bhopal constituency and 2009 election from Sagar seat, both in Madhya Pradesh. For a brief period, he was also in the BJP (between December 1997 and January 1999).
Khan claimed to have made the offer based on his experience in international sports and politics. Incidentally, he seems to be the only one to have offered to lead the Congress after Rahu Gandhi expressed his desire to relinquish the responsibility of heading the party. .
Gandhi had announced his decision to step down on May 24, following the crushing defeat of his party in the Lok Sabha elections, winning just 52 seats against BJP’s 303. However, the party leaders pleaded with him to continue to lead the party and authorised him to overhaul the organisation.