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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Cong may name new chief today; Sonia, Rahul opt out of CWC consultations

Five panels formed by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) are expected top give their suggestions to the party’s top decision making body to decide on a new chief.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2019 16:54 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The CWC decided to divide itself into five groups to interact with state leaders. Rahul Gandhi was also involved in the deliberations.
The CWC decided to divide itself into five groups to interact with state leaders. Rahul Gandhi was also involved in the deliberations.(Photo: Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

The Congress Working Committee’s (CWC) will meet again Saturday evening after Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi opted out of its consultations with state leaders to choose the party’s next president.

The CWC – the party’s top decision making body had decided in the morning to form five groups to consult with state leaders of zones in the country to zero in on a party chief.

“We will meet again at 8.30 pm, it (name of new party chief) is expected to be finalized by 9 pm today itself,” ANI quoted Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, Congress’ floor leader in the Lok Sabha as saying.

“The five committees will submit their reports later in the day and the CWC will meet in the evening to select a president or interim president,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

Shortly after the CWC meeting, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi left Congress headquarters saying they won’t be part of 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 Gandhi said.

At the CWC meet, Rahul Gandhi also rejected yet another request to review his decision to step down as Congress president. He had quit in May after the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.

“Rahul Gandhi thanked the Congress workers for reposing their faith in him but said he would not withdraw his resignation,” Surjewala said

Sonia Gandhi was named in the group to interact with the leaders from eastern region of the country while Rahul Gandhi was in the group for the west. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is part of the group for the north, Manmohan Singh for the south and Ambika Soni for the northeast.

Rahul Gandhi had consistently ruled out reviewing his decision to quit as Congress president although the CWC had authorized him a free hand to revamp the party. His sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too shot down suggestions that she head the party.