After facing a debacle in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi offered his resignation at the Congress Working Committee meeting in Delhi on May 25. Jumping at the opportunity, former Union minister and hockey Olympian Aslam Sher Khan offered to step into Rahul Gandhi’s shoes as the Congress president for a period of two years, according to the Hindustan Times. In a letter to the Congress president on May 27, Khan wrote: “... I would like to offer my services to the party and take responsibility as a provisional Congress president for a time-bound period of two years only.” However, the letter was not taken seriously by too many senior Congressmen.
The party’s highest decision-making body unanimously rejected the offer and passed a resolution, authorising Gandhi to revamp the organisation.
Khan, who was a member of the Indian hockey team that won the 1975 world cup at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, said he made the offer on the basis of his experience both as an international player and as a politician.
The 65-year-old former Olympian had participated in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Khan was elected to the 8th Lok Sabha in 1984 as a Congressman from the Betul constituency in Madhya Pradesh. He contested from the Betul constituency again in 1989, but lost. He was re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha from the same constituency in 1991 but again lost in 1996. In December 1997, Aslam Sher Khan joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but resigned from the party on 27 January 1999. In 2004, he contested from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency as a Nationalist Congress Party candidate but lost again. In 2009, he contested from Sagar Lok Sabha constituency as a Congress candidate but could not win.
In 2017, his statement against the then Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Arun Yadav prompted the state unit to announce that Khan was no longer associated with the party.