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Sonia Gandhi named Interim Congress President

Sonia Gandhi was named as the Interim Congress President after Rahul Gandhi refused to reconsider his decision to step down.

Aug 11, 2019 10:03 IST
Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi was named as the Interim Congress President, after Rahul Gandhi refused to reconsider his decision to step down. The decision was taken by the Congress Working Committee on August 10 after a 12-hour meeting. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were not a part of the selection process, as they had excused themselves from the Congress group meetings.
 
Despite Rahul Gandhi’s insistence that the new Congress President should not be a Gandhi, the Congress party failed to come up with an alternative and unanimously chose Sonia Gandhi to lead them. Sonia Gandhi will return to be the interim Congress Chief until the party holds elections to elect a new leader.
 
Congress Working Committee Meeting
 
The Congress Working Committee divided itself into five regional groups with party’s state presidents and leaders to decide the next Congress Chief on Saturday morning.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had excused themselves from the regional group meetings, saying that since they were Congress Presidents in the past, they will not be a part of the selection process.
 
The Congress Working Committee, after its long meeting, had unanimously resolved that Rahul Gandhi should continue as the party president but Rahul Gandhi refused to withdraw his resignation.
 
Consequently, the CWC unanimously decided to request Sonia Gandhi to return to the post as Interim President till elections are held to decide a regular President by AICC (All India Congress Committee). 
 
Though the names of Congress leaders such as Mukul Wasnik, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sushil Kumar Shinde and  Jyotiraditya Scindia were proposed during the regional group meetings, very few were in favour of them.

According to sources, Sonia Gandhi was initially unwilling to return to helm the party as interim President, but she accepted after the party leaders convinced her to take the post to keep the Congress Party together.

Later, the CWC in another resolution praised Rahul Gandhi for his “exceptional leadership” as Congress president. The resolution read the Rahul Gandhi had led the party with unbounded drive, fierce determination and dedication and campaigned for elections with indefatigable energy.
 
Background

The Congress has been facing a leadership void ever since Rahul Gandhi decided to quit the post after Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
 
Rahul Gandhi had quit his post as Congress president after the Congress Party suffered a massive defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha General Elections. Rahul Gandhi had been helming the post since December 2017, succeeding his mother Sonia Gandhi, who had held the post for 19 years.
 
During Sonia Gandhi’s tenure as Congress President, Congress-led two back-to-back central governments under Manmohan Singh. However, lately, Sonia Gandhi had largely reduced her public engagements due to health issues