Party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi put the CWC decision before the AICC which was instantly endorsed by the delegates who raised their hands in support.
Many party leaders and members of the youth wings clapped and raised pro-Rahul Gandhi slogans amid demands that he be made the party's prime ministerial candidate in 2014.
The loud applause continued for over five minutes.
Rahul Gandhi, who sat on the floor along with his mother and party chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh kept smiling. He later stood up and thanked them with folded hands.