Gandhi's playing musical chair, Sonia's appointment proves Rahul was a blunder: BJP

Sonia, Rahul Gandhi pull out of panels to choose Congress chief

Chauhan said that it is surprising that CWC still wants Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to lead the party, the Hindustan Times reported.

Gradual decline in Congress electoral fortunes under Rahul Gandhi, desertions from Congress to BJP, deepening division in opposition ranks and a surging BJP were some factors that seemed to have weighed on Sonia Gandhi's mind when she accepted the CWC suggestion on Saturday. "Later, when I was able to come out of my sorrow, she urged me to take the responsibility of presidentship of the Congress party and when I took it, she was there guiding me as an elder sister".

Last month, in the southern state of Karnataka, the defection of more than a dozen legislators from the ruling Congress-led coalition paved the way for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government. However, he was doubtful of how the public would perceive the Congress decision.

The appointment of Sonia has also revived an old issue for the Congress.

All the CWC members have been assigned the task of holding consultations with state unit chiefs, legislative party leaders and heads of frontal organisations across the country. "Otherwise the fight would have been within the party", he said.

Rajya Sabha member PL Punia said that her experience of leading the party and her chairmanship of the UPA during the two terms of the Dr Manmohan Singh government have led her to understand political and governance nuances better than most in the party. "If she calls a meeting, these leaders would attend the meet". "We can not be part of this process", Sonia Gandhi said after she recused herself from the deliberations.

Ahead of the CWC meeting, Sonia Gandhi addressed a prayer meet for late Congress leader Sheila Dikshit and said, "She stood by my side in my darkest years".

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V T Balram, MLA, who is the face of the young brigade in the Congress in Kerala, was cautious in his reaction. Congress leader AK Antony has reportedly expressed his reservation at this decision.

From defections to infighting, Congress has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons since the party's rout in the Lok Sabha elections this year, where it barely managed to scrape through in most states.

This was by and large the opinion of Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor too. "Sonia Gandhi to take over as Interim President pending the election of a regular President by the AICC". "Let elections allow party workers to decide who should lead them", he said.

They are seeking to find a successor to Rahul Gandhi who resigned as party chief on May 25 after the Congress's poll debacle, throwing the party into a leadership crisis.

The northern region group included Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Jyotiraditya Scindia and P Chidambaram.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting being held on Saturday in New Delhi to elect the new party chief has ended.

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