After weeks of uncertainty and confusion, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in its meeting today (10 August) finally selected Sonia Gandhi as the interim party president.
"CWC unanimously urged Rahul to continue as Congress president and requested him to accept the decision. However, Rahul Gandhi declined to withdraw his resignation. The CWC then unanimously resolved to request Sonia Gandhi to take over as interim president until the election for regular chief is held. Smt Sonia Gandhi has accepted this decision," the party said at a press meet after the nomination.
CWC had also met earlier in the day but had to call a second round of discussions after Sonia Gandhi left the meeting along with Rahul Gandhi after the latter remained adamant about quitting the party chief’s post.
Even as many Congress leaders had pleaded with Rahul to stay on as president of the party, many party workers wanted to see Priyanka Gandhi take his place. Some, like veteran Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on the other hand called for open democratic elections to decide on Rahul’s replacement.
The Congress party has faced a leadership crisis since its debacle in the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year. Rahul had also lost his own seat in Amethi, which was seen as a bastion of the Gandhi-Nehru family.
Moreover, large numbers of Congress office bearers had submitted resignations following the party’s cataclysmic failure.