Addressing a press conference, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Congress Working Committee (CWC) unanimously resolved to request Sonia Gandhi to take over as the Interim President, pending the election of a regular president by the AICC.
According to the Congress constitution, the CWC shall consist of the president of the party, its leader in Parliament, and 23 other members, of whom 12 will be elected by the All India Congress Committee (AICC, the party’s central decision-making assembly), and the rest shall be appointed by the party president.
The top leadership of the party is yet to arrive at a consensus on his successor and all indications are that the CWC could buy more time by either appointing a provisional president or entrusting a group of leaders the task of finding a new president.
While the CWC had rejected his resignation and asked him to restructure the party at all levels, Gandhi had refrained from meeting people and asked his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to do the talking on his behalf.
The CWC meeting was held in the backdrop of the Congress winning just 52 Lok Sabha seats and drawing a nought in 18 states and Union Territories. Gandhi himself lost from the family bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, though he won from Wayanad in Kerala.
With the Congress top leadership in attendance, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel joined the party and also attended the CWC meeting.