Sonia Gandhi named interim Congress president; Rahul Gandhi declines again

The Congress Working Committee named Sonia Gandhi interim president of the Congress Party. The deliberation went on for hours and Rahul Gandhi again declined to take over the party. 

The announcement was made after Congress Working Committee met on Saturday. 

Surjewala, in a press conference, said that the CWC discussed in detail about the president of the party. Three Resolutions were adopted in the meeting. K C Venugopal said that party appreciated the work done by Rahul Gandhi during his tenure as party president. 

The CWC considered views of members of the party and concluded that Rahul Gandhi should continue as president, however, he declined. Later the CWC requested Sonia Gandhi to lead the party until a new president is elected. 

Several senior leaders including Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, P. Chidambaram and several others arrived to attended the meeting.

According to party sources, the meeting was being presided over by Manmohan Singh.

Earlier in the day, the CWC, the party's top decision-making body met to decide the new party chief. But following Rahul Gandhi's assertion that a new party chief be appointed, the party formed five sub-groups region-wise to consult with the party leaders on the successor.

In the first CWC meeting in the morning, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi said that they did not want to be a part of the process to choose the successor to the post of party chief.

Party sources said that all the five sub-groups, including the one with Rahul Gandhi's sister Priyanka Gandhi on board, proposed Rahul's name.

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