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Congress brings back Sonia Gandhi to lead for now

NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST 2019: Sonia Gandhi after attending a meeting at AICC in New Delhi after being put back at the helm of the Congress Party.

NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST 2019: Sonia Gandhi after attending a meeting at AICC in New Delhi after being put back at the helm of the Congress Party.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar

Congress Working Committee announces her as interim president after Rahul Gandhi opts out.

The Congress Working Committee continued its extensive discussion on who should succeed Rahul Gandhi as the party president late into Saturday night after five groups, tasked with getting inputs from State units, submitted their reports. However there was no official announcement till late in the evening.

The CWC met for a second time 8 p.m. to discuss the reports submitted by the five sub-groups that consulted State unit chiefs, members of Parliament, All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretaries among others. 

An overwhelming majority of the respondents wanted Mr. Rahul Gandhi to continue while some pitched for his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to lead the party. The names of younger leaders Mukul Wasnik, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot were also reportedly mentioned.

Senior Congress leaders said the party was keen that the confusion among party workers with regard to leadership ended immediately. 

Rahul sticks to decision 

Earlier in the morning, when CWC members had once again urged Mr. Rahul Gandhi to continue as the party chief, he stuck to his decision to step down. “He thanked Congress workers across the country for their wishes and confidence but said that his decision to not withdraw his resignation is final. He also said that he will continue to work with full force along with Congress leaders and workers to take on the might of this Government,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

Mr. Rahul Gandhi and Ms. Sonia Gandhi also recused themselves from the consultative process to select the next chief.

When the CWC had earlier constituted five groups for wider consultations, the Gandhis were included in the groups

“The process to choose the president has started. Rahul ji and I are not part of this process. It was obviously a mistake,” Ms Gandhi told reporters as they left the meeting after making an initial appearance.

Mr. Surjewala said they had recused themselves to keep the process ‘transparent’ and ‘uninfluenced’.

"They didn't want their opinions influence other members in the group," he said.

Mr. Rahul Gandhi informed reporters on August 10 that he would be visiting Kerala for two days to take stock of the flood situation including his constituency Wayanad. 

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is part of the group that will consult southern States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana and Union Territory Puducherry.

Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is part of a group that will consult the northern region comprising Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 6:31:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sonia-gandhi-named-interim-congress-president/article28978290.ece

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