Sushil Kumar Shinde's elevation, if happens, assumes significance considering the fact that Maharashtra will go to polls later this year. (File Photo: PTI)
With Rahul Gandhi adamant on not withdrawing his resignation as Congress President, reports suggest that former union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is likely to replace him as the next party president.
Gandhi family has also given a green signal to Shinde’s appointment as the next Congress chief, claimed some media reports.
Other Congress leaders whose names were under consideration by the central leadership were Mallikarjun Kharge, Janardhan Dwivedi. AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot besides Mukul Wasnik. In the mix was Uttar Pradesh West in-charge Jyotiraditya Scindia as well so that the younger element is also assuaged.
Shinde, who was defeated by Bharatiya Janata Party's Siddheshwar Shivacharya Swami in Solapur, is known as a loyalist of the Gandhi family.
Shinde's elevation, if happens, assumes significance considering the fact that Maharashtra will go to polls later this year. Shinde, who hails from Maharashtra's Solapur and lost the Lok Sabha seat twice in 2014 as well, has served as the chief minister of the state from 18 January 2003 to October 2004.
Shinde, who reportedly joined the grand old party on advice of Nationalist Congress Party founder Sharad Pawar, won four (1978, 1980, 1985 and 1990) Assembly elections in the state.
Shinde was in the news in 2002 when the Congress nominated him to compete against the ruling National Democratic Alliance's Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. He was defeated.
Meanwhile, amid a spate of resignations by Congress office-bearers, the party said that the entire organisation, in one voice, wants its president Rahul Gandhi to continue in the post.
At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said many party leaders have resigned, but the prevailing sentiment is that Gandhi should continue as the party president.
He parried queries about why several senior party leaders had not quit their position, insisting that "people have different ways of expressing their request" which is that, he added, Gandhi should remain the Congress chief.
Khera noted that the Congress Working Committee, the party's apex body, had also passed a resolution, urging Gandhi to remain at the helm.
Several office-bearers of the Congress, including its general secretary incharge of Madhya Pradesh Dipak Babaria and Goa unit chief Girish Chodankar, had resigned on Friday, after MP Vivek Tankha quit as the chairman of the party's legal and human rights cell and urged others to follow suit to give a free hand to Rahul Gandhi to restructure the party at all levels.