Sonia Gandhi has been appointed the new interim Congress President. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Sonia Gandhi is the new Congress President.”
A resolution by the Congress Working Committee read, “The CWC considered the views of PCC Presidents, CLP Leaders, AICC Secretaries and Members of Parliament. The CWC unanimously resolved that Shri Rahul Gandhi should continue as Congress President, as desired by all who were consulted today, and requested him to accept this decision. However, Shri Rahul Gandhi declined to withdraw his resignation. Consequently, the CWC unanimously resolved to request Smt. Sonia Gandhi to take over as Interim President pending the election of a regular President by the AICC.”
The post of Congress President had fallen vacant after Rahul Gandhi resigned following a humiliating defeat of his party in this year’s Lok Sabha polls. His resignations had prompted various state unit office-bearers to also put in their papers. All efforts to persuade Gandhi to rethink his decision had turned futile.
Faced with a continuous void at the top and key assembly polls in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand soon approaching, the party had no option but to choose their new leader.
The Congress Working Committee met on Saturday but were unable to reach a consensus. The party then announced that the deliberations to choose their leader were underway and the name of the Congress President will be announced at 9 pm tonight.
Both Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi had excused themselves from the process of finding a new leader. The responsibility to choose the new Congress president was left on the CWC and five zonal chiefs.
Meanwhile, Congress leader from Haryana, RS Surjewala, told reporters, “Shri Rahul Gandhi and Smt. Sonia Gandhi both felt that if the democratic process has to prevail and if everybody’s view has to be taken, then Shri Rahul Gandhi said I will like to recuse myself for I have already tendered my resignation to the Congress Working Committee. The former Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi also felt that her presence is not required for assimilation of this democratic process so that the democratic process remains transparent and uninfluenced and that is why both of them decided to recuse.”
On the process of how the new leader was elected, Surjewala had said, “Congress Working Committee accordingly divided itself into five groups. Congress Working Committee decided that a wider consultation is required, as wished by Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi, with the leaders of the CLP, with the Presidents of the State Congress Party, with AICC Secretaries, with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs so that a comprehensive view on the next President comes forward in a democratic fashion.
“Those five groups have met today, some are still meeting. Congress Working Committee has been called today itself at 8 pm where the reports of the Sub Groups after consultation with these leaders in order to ensure assimilation of the thought process of the entire country will be presented to the Congress Working Committee so that a decision on the new President or an Interim President or another arrangement could be taken.”
Gandhi reportedly told the CWC that his decision to not withdraw his resignation was final adding that he will continue to work with full force along with Congress leaders and workers to take on the ‘might of this government.’