Congress president Sonia Gandhi will decide the party's nominee for the post of the President, it was announced after a day-long meeting of the party's top brass who deliberated on the issues facing the Congress-led UPA government and the party.
Meeting after nearly a year after it was set up, the twenty members of CWC unanimously passed a resolution authorizing Gandhi to name the party candidate for the Presidential election due by the middle of next month.
The resolution was moved by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, widely regarded as a potential candidate for the post. Opinion was divided whether the fact that he moved the resolution was indicative of his prospects one way or the other.
The state of the party in the aftermath of its poll debacle in Uttar Pradesh came up for discussion with Gandhi mincing no words in telling Congressmen that they wasted energy on factionalism and "petty issues".
Both the Congress president and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who took on Team Anna on the issue of corruption, dubbed the allegations against him and some central ministers as "canards and falsehood".
Gandhi saw the attacks by the civil society on the PM and Congress as part of a "conspiracy" and told both the party and the government to "fiercely fight" such allegations.
Mukherjee, who also spoke at the day-long deliberations, said the "situation may be difficult but we would be able to retrieve. We will retrieve the situation. We have done it in the past".
The meeting earlier saw a larger number of party leaders, mainly the PCC chiefs and CLP leaders, flagging concerns over rising prices and corruption.