NEW DELHI: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi Saturday decided to stay away from meetings of five consultation groups that are holding discussions outside ambit of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on the name of new party chief, expected to be announced towards the end of day.
According to party sources, name of Mukul Wasnik, Kumari Selja and KC Venugopal have been doing rounds after the CWC meet and the party’s highest decision-making body is scheduled to meet again at 8 pm.
Congress is facing a leadership crisis after Rahul step down as party chief on May 25 following the party’s poor Lok Sabha performance. The CWC met this morning and all members requested Rahul to continue leading the party to ensure its unity. However, he rejected that appeal saying his decision is final.
The CWC was divided into five region-wise subgroups and members interacted with MPS, Congress legislature party leaders, state in charges and PCC chiefs to seek their opinions. “It is a pre-scripted exercise to present a democratic view,” said an AICC secretary.
RS Surjewala, Congress communication department chief, said that the party is holding a democratic process to find its new chief. “The reports of these subgroups will be presented to the CWC at 8 pm today in order to ensure assimilation of countrywide consultations for selection of a new president, interim president or another arrangement be taken,” he said.
He clarified that Sonia and Rahul recused themselves from consultations so that their views don’t influence others in the group but will be present for the second CWC meeting.