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Sonia Gandhi appointed interim Congress party president after Rahul declines

11 August 2019

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.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 11 am at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi.

"The CWC members in the meeting said that the voice of a strong opposition needs to be heard and that (voice) is of Rahul Gandhi".

Sonia Gandhi has been appointed the new Congress President.

Sonia Gandhi would be the next Congress president, confirmed senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday after the second round of Congress Working Committee (CWC) today in the national capital.

It is believed that another meeting at 8.30 p.m. will take this forward but in the eventuality that it does not throw anything up, the decision may be postponed.

With Rahul Gandhi's resignation not yet accepted, and all the sub groups proposing his name, any chance of a new, fresh and independent thinking person entering the party to reinvigorate it seems to have come to naught.

Surjewala said the CWC would meet again at 8PM.

Rahul resigned from the top party post after the humiliating defeat in general elections.

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. At around 10.30 pm, he stepped out of the meeting and said that deliberations of the Congress Working Committee on the party's leadership issue were briefly stopped for a presentation on the reports of violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

Senior Congress leaders also met Sonia Gandhi at her residence here on Friday.

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.

The names of senior Congress leaders Mukul Wasnik, Mallikarjun Kharge, as well as younger leaders such as Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot are doing the rounds. They pressed him to reconsider, saying the party needed a unifying figure from the family to avoid splintering. Pitching it as a stop-gap measure, the party said it will pick a new president when its plenary session is held later this year.

Meanwhile, Congress leader from Haryana, RS Surjewala, told reporters, "Shri Rahul Gandhi and Smt". The party has been facing a serious leadership crisis post-2019 Lok Sabha election drubbing.

Sonia Gandhi appointed interim Congress party president after Rahul declines