Assembly elections: Rahul Gandhi not to be part of candidate selection

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will have no say in the choice of party candidates for next month’s assembly elections . Rahul, who quit as Congress chief after taking responsibility for the party’s rout in this year’s general elections, has recused himself from participating in candidate selection meetings or being part of the decisions taken there, HT learns.

“He doesn’t want to be involved with ticket distribution. He feels it’s best the party decides this in consultation with state leaders and takes responsibility for their choices,’’ a member of his team said on condition of anonymity. Rahul did not participate in the two meetings that have taken place of the Congress’s Central Election Committee, or CEC, the last of which was on Thursday. He has been a member of the CEC since 2010.

His team confirmed to HT that it was a conscious decision to steer clear of the entire process, leaving the old guard to deal with candidate selection .

However, he will still play a key role in the elections as a campaigner. “While Rahul has quit on moral grounds, it does not mean that he’s not participating in the election process. In fact, he’s working more than ever helping us build a strong campaign,’’ said KH Muniyappa, a member of the central election authority.

Academic and author Neera Chandhoke said the Congress might face organisational worries without Rahul. “He seemed to be the only glue…The party does not seems to have a common ground on issues ranging from Kashmir or how to regard PM Modi,” she said.

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