Underlying the crisis in the party is an anxiety about its leadership.
Sonia Gandhi, 65, suffers from an undisclosed illness widely reported to be cancer, but just how unwell she is remains a closely guarded secret.
This has focused minds on the presumed ascendancy of her 41-year-old son, Rahul, in a party where no other young cadres have been groomed for leadership, or would even dare to claim it ahead of a Gandhi.
However, Rahul Gandhi is untested in the cut-and-thrust of running a government and he has instead spent much of his time rebuilding the youth Congress wing.
Recently, he has devoted himself to campaigning for the Uttar Pradesh elections, which many see as a lost cause that will only damage his image.
"Congressmen are very unhappy with Rahul. He's not been able to project himself at a national level," said one party expert.
"Everyone in the party is fed up with the drift, but no one is ready to stand up, challenge the system and try and change it. Rahul can't be the rebel - George Bush's son can't be a Barack Obama - this is a dynastic succession."
Image: Sonia Gandhi, center, General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, left, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, look at newly elected party state presidents of the Indian Youth Congress seek blessings at a convention in New Delhi on Tuesday, November 29, 2011.