New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday elected Sonia Gandhi as interim president of the grand old party. Notably, CWC– the Congress’s top decision-making bodymet for the second time this evening to take a final call on the new party president after a number of leaders, including state chiefs and MPs, backed Rahul Gandhi to continue on the post despite his refusal to reconsider his resignation.

Party leaders said that all the five sub-groups formed region-wise to choose the new Congress President had pitched Rahul Gandhi’s name for the post, but as the outgoing President refused to take the charge, the CWC members recommended Sonia Gandhi’s name as the interim party chief.

Speaking to reporters after the CWC meeting, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said,” CWC unanimously resolved to request Sonia Gandhi to take over as the Interim President, pending the election of a regular president by the AICC.”

Furthermore, he said that CWC unanimously resolved that Rahul Gandhi should continue as Congress president and requested him to accept this decision, however, he declined to withdraw his resignation.

Sonia Gandhi had held the post of Congress President between 1998 and 2017 before her son Rahul Gandhi took over the reins.

What Happened in the Day

At the CWC meet in the morning, the Congress Working Committee had urged Rahul to reconsider his decision to quit as party chief and said it was yet to take a final call on his resignation. “The CWC unanimously appealed to Rahul Gandhi to lead the party as he was the best person for the top post at the time when the BJP-led government was assaulting democracy and undermining people’s rights,” Surjewala said.

However, Gandhi refused to reconsider his decision, following which the CWC began consultations on finding his successor under five regional sub-groups led by senior party leaders.

Shortly after the CWC meeting, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi left AICC headquarters, saying it would be improper for them to be present during the consultation process. “Consultation (to decide next party chief) is going on and naturally me and Rahul ji cannot be a part of it,” Sonia had reportedly said.