Congress's Rahul Gandhi has made his views on leadership clear – he has resigned and is not about to take up the party top post again, sources close to him told NDTV today amid a huge leadership crisis in the party. There has been speculation on whether Mr Gandhi would roll back his decision on quitting – the final decision on the leadership issue is to be taken at the party's plenary session likely to be held in mid-April.
"I have made my decision clear on the leadership issue. I have written my letter on this earlier and I am clear, there is no question of me at present coming back as Congress president," sources quoted Mr Gandhi as saying.
Asked what might happen if the party presses him to take up the role, Mr Gandhi had said it was the call of the Congress chief. Mr Gandhi's mother Sonia Gandhi, who had led the party for nearly two decades, reluctantly took up the post of the party's interim president after he quit following the party's decimation in last year's Lok Sabha election.
But Mrs Gandhi's indifferent health has been a cause of concern and the need for an active president has been felt even more keenly felt after the Delhi elections. A backlash has started from the party's young brigade, demanding action. Since yesterday, the party has been facing another crisis in Madhya Pradesh, one of the few states it currently rules.
The 15-month-old government of Kamal Nath, which has a wafer-thin majority in the assembly, came on the brink of collapse. The Congress alleged that the BJP has spirited away a few of its MLAs and confined them at five-star hotel in Gurgaon near Delhi.
In dramatic developments overnight, top Congress leaders from the state were seen escorting one of the MLAs out of the hotel with her bags. Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh says four MLAs are still inside the hotel.
Mr Gandhi has assured that the situation is under control, sources said. "The BJP has been trying to do this for a long time," he was quoted as saying by sources.
For most of its 134-year history, the Congress always had the Gandhis at the helm, except for several years in the '90s after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. But the party did not do well under Sitaram Kesri and several leaders had convinced Sonia Gandhi to lead it.