Sonia Gandhi offers to quit as Congress president, asks CWC to find her successor

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Updated: Aug 24, 2020 3:38 PM

Sonia Gandhi was made the Congress' interim president in August 2019.

Sonia Gandhi offers to quit as Congress interim chief.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Monday offered to quit from her post, days after a group of senior leaders wrote her a letter seeking a full-time chief in the party. During the Congress Working Committee meeting today, Sonia asked the members to initiate the process for selecting a new party chief.

Sonia made an offer to vacate the president’s post in her opening remarks saying she had given a detailed reply on the issue to AICC general secretary KC Venugopal.

According to reports, Sonia referred to Ghulam Nabi Azad and others twice during her address and the issues raised by them. She also handed over a detailed reply to Venugopal, who read out its contents at the CWC meeting in which Gandhi sought to be relieved from the post.

The CWC meeting is being called in the wake of a section of senior leaders’ August 7 letter to Sonia seeking a full time and visible president. Besides, they also sought overhauling of the organisational structure including elections to the CWC and reconstitution of the Parliamentary board.

Former PM Manmohan Singh in his remark at the CWC meeting urged Sonia Gandhi to continue. Former Union minister AK Antony also requested Sonia to continue as the Congress president till fresh elections are done to elect a new president.

The two leaders also criticised the letter by some party leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma, Mukul Wasnik. They all are a part of the CWC.

Sonia Gandhi is the longest serving president of the Congress party. She headed the party for 19 years from 1998 to 2017. She resigned from the post in July 2017 to pave the way for her son Rahul Gandhi to lead the party. But Rahul failed to give a strong leadership to the party and resigned from the post after Congress’ defeat in the 2019 general elections. This was Congress’ second consecutive loss in the general elections.

The CWC initially rejected Rahul’s resignation but he was adamant on his decision not to head the Congress. He advocated for a non-Gandhi Congress president which was seconded by his sister Priyanka Vadra. The CWC then decided to appoint Sonia Gandhi as an interim president. Sonia Gandhi was made the president in August 2019.

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