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Published On: Sat, Aug 10th, 2019

Sonia Gandhi becomes Congress interim president

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Sonia Gandhi. (File Photo: IANS)

NEW DELHI : Sonia Gandhi to become Congress interim president. The development has been confirmed by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The Congress’s top decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), has met in Delhi on Saturday for the second time after it had held an all-important meeting on Saturday morning amid crisis over leadership.
At the meeting, the top decision-making body of the Congress party divided themselves into five groups to hold discussions for picking Rahul Gandhi’s successor, sources said.
The party’s top brass, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, earlier went into a huddle at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi to find a solution to the leadership crisis triggered by Rahul Gandhi’s resignation following the Lok Sabha polls debacle.
The Congress’s top decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), has met in Delhi on Saturday for the second time after it had held an all-important meeting on Saturday morning amid crisis over leadership.
At the meeting, the top decision-making body of the Congress party divided themselves into five groups to hold discussions for picking Rahul Gandhi’s successor, sources said.
The party’s top brass, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, earlier went into a huddle at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi to find a solution to the leadership crisis triggered by Rahul Gandhi’s resignation following the Lok Sabha polls debacle.
Senior Congress leaders also met Sonia Gandhi at her residence here on Friday. Sources said senior leaders Ahmed Patel, AK Antony and KC Venugopal were learnt to have discussed with Gandhi certain names of probables, one of whom could be made the interim president of the party.
Rahul Gandhi, said I was called by the Working Committee just now because between the work that they were doing, to choose the next Congress president, some reports have come, that things in Jammu & Kashmir are going very wrong.
There are reports of violence.
Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have arrived at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office for the second round of the CWC meeting.
The consultation committee may submit a report before the CWC regarding their views on who can replace Rahul Gandhi.
Sources tell India Today TV that Priyanka Gandhi’s name could be recommended but other names can be discussed as well. There is no clarity on the same at the moment.
Congress could select a young face for the post of president.
There is a possibility that no name may be announced today and a five-member committee can be formed to solve the leadership crisis. In such a scenario, the selection of the new president could take some time.
Congress workers protested outside the party headquarters demanding Priyanka Gandhi Vadra be made the party president, amid the crucial Congress Working Committee meet. “Priyanka Gandhi should be made the party chief as she has the capability to keep the party together,” said Jagdish Sharma, the worker who led the protesters.
The meeting came after several senior party leaders such as Shashi Tharoor and Karan Singh voiced concerns over lack of clarity on the leadership issue.
The top Congress leadership held a meeting on Friday with its state unit chiefs, leaders of its state legislature parties, general secretaries and in-charges, where they were told by Rahul Gandhi that the new party chief would be appointed within the next few days after wider consultations, sources said.
The meeting was held at the party’s Gurdwara Raqab Ganj Road “war room” to discuss the government’s decision to abrogate the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir and divide the state into two Union territories.
Senior Congress leaders also met Sonia Gandhi at her residence here on Friday. Sources said senior leaders Ahmed Patel, AK Antony and KC Venugopal were learnt to have discussed with Gandhi certain names of probables, one of whom could be made the interim president of the party.
The Congress party has virtually been without a leader since the debacle during the Lok Sabha elections. Taking moral responsibility for the defeat, Rahul Gandhi had resigned as the Congress chief.

During the CWC meetings that followed, he was persuaded by leaders to continue as the party president, but the Gandhi scion reportedly asserted that the new chief of the grand old party must not hail from the Gandhi-Nehru family. He had also reportedly dismissed the demands to make his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the new president of the party.

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