Sonia Gandhi appointed new Congress President

The Congress Working Committee appointed Sonia Gandhi to the post after Rahul Gandhi refused to reconsider his decision to quit.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the two-time former chief minister of Haryana, in an exclusive interview to The Statesman, said that any uncertainty over the party president should be over soon as it is not good for the party. "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".

They also say the party could not find a dynamic leader to lead the party and had to go to a reluctant Sonia Gandhi to lead the party.

It chose to involve office-bearers from the states, AICC secretaries, MPs, heads of the frontal organisations and party chief ministers.

All five groups had unanimously reposed their faith in Rahul, with some suggesting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should lead if Rahul did not relent. The western region group was has leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, A K Antony and Motilal Vora. "We hope that she will take a decision for strengthening of the party in the State and we will together work as per her directives".

The senior BJP leader also highlighted the need for Congress to select a leader through a "democratic process".

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Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said several leaders who could not make it to New Delhi have been consulted over phone. "For the next few days, I will be based in my Lok Sabha constituency, #Wayanad that has been ravaged by floods".

The meeting was interrupted late in the evening over news from Jammu and Kashmir.

Priyanka, the Congress' UP (East) in-charge, flagged the fact that Rahul had already made it clear that no one from the family should take over, the leader said.

After party's poor show during the recent general elections, while political circles in the State are abuzz with speculations on the selection of a new Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief, many party leaders are hopeful that Gandhi will hand over the baton to a suitable candidate so that the party will join the upcoming by-poll battle for the Bijepur Assembly seat.

A number of partymen have expressed their opinion in public that the delay in selecting the new Congress chief is harming the party.

  • Sonia Alvarado