New Delhi, August 10, 2019 : After a marathon meeting, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) has picked up Sonia Gandhi as interim president of the Congress party, pending election of the regular president by the All India Congress Committee (AICC). Also the CWC unanimously resolved that Rahul Gandhi should continue as Congress President, as desired by all who were consulted today, and requested him to accept this decision. However, he declined to withdraw his resignation.
Congress party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “A meeting of the Congress Working Committee was held today at AICC HQ. All the Members of the Congress Working Committee unanimously and in one voice said that they only want leadership of Rahul Gandhi for that is the voice of the Congress workers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Porbander to Tripura. Congress Working Committee Members also emphasized upon Rahul Gandhi that currently the BJP Government is subjugating the Constitution, suppressing the voice of dissent, is deriding the democratic process and democracy per se is in danger on account of the overwhelming majority that they enjoy and refuse to listen to the voice of people of India and in such a situation the voice of a strong opposition needs to be heard and that is Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi thanked the Members of the Congress Working Committee for their confidence. He also thanked Congress workers across the country for their wishes and confidence but said that his decision to not to withdraw his resignation is final.
He also said that he will continue to work with full force along with Congress leaders and workers to take on the might of this Government.
Congress Working Committee accordingly divided itself into five groups. Congress Working Committee decided that a wider consultation is required, as wished by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, with the leaders of the CLP, with the Presidents of the State Congress Party, with AICC Secretaries, with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs so that a comprehensive view on the next President comes forward in a democratic fashion. Those five groups have met today, some are still meeting.
Congress Working Committee has been called today itself at 8 pm where the reports of the Sub Groups after consultation with these leaders in order to ensure assimilation of the thought process of the entire country will be presented to the Congress Working Committee so that a decision on the new President or an Interim President or another arrangement could be taken.
On the question of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi recusing from the selection process for Congress President, Surjewala said Rahul Gandhi and Smt. Sonia Gandhi both felt that if the democratic process has to prevail and if everybody’s view has to be taken, then Rahul Gandhi said I will like to recuse myself for I have already tendered my resignation to the Congress Working Committee. The former Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi also felt that her presence is not required for assimilation of this democratic process so that the democratic process remains transparent and uninfluenced and that is why both of them decided to recuse.
To a related question, Surjewala said- that is a hypothetical question for as I pointed out to you the five Sub Groups are meeting only for this purpose. They are taking opinion and recording it. Those reports in writing shall be presented to the Congress Working Committee and only then a call shall be taken and a decision has been taken to hold a second meeting at 8’ O clock today so that a decision can be taken today. I am very optimistic.”
To another question Surjewala said, “The Congress Working Committee has to take a call on it and no such call has been taken with regard to whether it will be an interim or a final President as yet. Based on the reports of the Sub Committees such a call will be taken after discussion among the Members of the CWC.”