Congress veteran Karan Singh
Amid a grave leadership crisis in the Congress, veteran leader Karan Singh on Monday said he is "aghast" at the disorientation into which the party has fallen following Rahul Gandhi's resignation, and urged the working committee to meet immediately under the chairmanship of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and take necessary decisions.
Noting that six weeks have elapsed since Rahul submitted his resignation and there is no alternative structure in place, Singh in a statement cautioned against the "negative cycle", saying it needs to be reversed before it is too late.
The Congress has plunged into a deep crisis after Gandhi made his resignation as party president public last week. He had submitted his resignation to the CWC on May 25 after which several senior and middle-rank Congress leaders also stepped down from their posts.
"As someone who joined the Congress in 1967, over half a century ago, I am aghast to see the confusion and disorientation into which the party has fallen since Rahul Gandhi resigned on May 25," Singh said.
Instead of honouring Rahul's bold decision, a month was wasted pleading him to take back his resignation which, as a man of honour and integrity, he should not have been pressured to do, Singh said in a statement, circulated among reporters.
Six weeks have since elapsed and there is no alternative structure in place, Singh said, adding the longer the present uncertainty remains, the more the Congress workers and voters around the country will be demoralised.
"I strongly urge the working committee to meet without delay, perhaps under the chairmanship of former PM Manmohan Singh, and take necessary decisions," the 88-year-old leader said.
Singh, considered close to Rahul Gandhi, also said the CWC must install an interim Congress president until fresh party elections, and suggested that four working presidents or vice presidents, one each for North, South, East and West zones, may also be appointed to induct young blood in leadership roles.
The former Union minister's suggestions came a day after senior leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora announced their resignation from their posts in the party.
While Scindia resigned as AICC general secretary for Western Uttar Pradesh, Deora resigned as Mumbai Congress chief. Both took moral responsibility for the party's poor electoral show in their respective areas.
The party is also facing crisis in Karnataka where its 13-month-old coalition government with JD(S) is facing an existential crisis following resignations by all the ministers of the ruling combine.