Mukul Wasnik is frontrunner for post of Cong president as the CWC meets to pick next chief
New Delhi, Aug 10 (IBNS): Senior leader Mukul Wasnik is a frontrunner for the post of Congress president, according to media reports as the Congress Working Committee is meeting on Saturday to pick up the next president of the party.
Mukul Balkrishna Wasnik, 59, from Maharashtra was former union minister holding the Social Justice and Empowerment portfolio.
Mallikarjun Kharge, 77, is another Congress leader whose name came up. He was Leader of Opposition in the 16th Lok Sabha.
Both leaders are from the Scheduled Caste community.
The post has been empty ever since Rahul Gandhi stepped down following the Lok Sabha elections where the Congress performed poorly.
According to media reports, senior party leaders Ahmed Patel, AK Antony, Ashok Gehlot, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Motilal Vora, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal earlier met to discuss different issues related to the selection of the party president.
At a meeting of the Congress’s general secretaries, state incharges, state unit chiefs, Congress Legislature Party members and members of Parliament on Friday evening, Rahul Gandhi was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times: “I have asked Venugopal ji to widen the consultation process and take a considered decision to select the new Congress president. I have asked him to include all those present here in the deliberations.”
A party functionary told the newspaper that all the 65 All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretaries have been asked to be present at the party headquarters – the venue of the CWC meeting.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi earlier tweeted: "On Sat, a consensus builder party pres #INC must be selected. slightest delay is not an option. In lighter vein, I gave analogy of wise men of #Vatican locked in a room indefinitely until they got a nomination! Subsequently, it has to be followed by full intra party elections."
In this year's Lok Sabha polls, the Congress managed to win only 52 seats in the 543 member Lower House of the Parliament.
The Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 seats as Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power for the second term.
Rahul Gandhi, who became the president of the party in 2017, resigned following the poor show in the general polls.