Sonia, Rahul Gandhi pull out of panels to choose Congress chief

The move has rattled the perpetrators of dynastic politics in Jammu & Kashmir

The move has rattled the perpetrators of dynastic politics in Jammu & Kashmir

Some even told Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to prevail upon Rahul to reconsider his May 25 resignation, the sources said. Nearly two months after that, not only did the 49-year-old leader make his resignation public, but also removed the tag of "Congress President" from the bio of his Twitter handle.

Following the meeting, Rae Bareli MP and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi told reporters she and Rahul Gandhi are not a part of the five region-wise groups formed in the CWC to elect the new party chief.

The CWC unanimously appealed to Gandhi to lead the party, saying he was the best person for the top post at the time when the BJP-led government was "assaulting democracy and undermining people's rights". "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".

A week after the Congress' second worst loss in national elections, Rahul Gandhi resigned from the post of party president. It is then that she relented.

"The CWC members in the meeting said that the voice of a strong opposition needs to be heard and that (voice) is of Rahul Gandhi".

Approval of his resignation is still pending with the CWC, showing the obvious unwillingness of the party to look beyond a Gandhi.

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The Congress Working Committee on Saturday again urged Rahul Gandhi to reconsider his decision to quit as party chief and said it was yet to take a final call on his resignation.

Senior Congress leaders also met Sonia at her residence on Friday.

The CWC members met at around 9 pm at the AICC headquarters here. While party sources said that those who did not come would be asked for their suggestions, Amarinder Singh had perhaps sensed the way the matter would proceed. The Congress won 52 seats in the recent general elections, which is just eight more than its 2014 Lok Sabha results. In the evening on Saturday, they pressed her again, saying the party would split without her leadership. Someone who we the young India relates to and someone who leads from the front.

Randeep Singh Surjewala, the Congress communications in-charge and CWC member, said the party decided on Sonia Gandhi's name as it wanted a strong leadership, one whose command would be accepted by all.

With the Congress' political theatre of the absurd playing out as it has, the name of a new party chief is likely to be postponed again.

Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora earlier this week batted for either Scindia or Pilot to succeed Rahul Gandhi.

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