Rahul, Sonia pull out of talks to pick new Congress chief, leave CWC meet

New Delhi: The Congress is likely to appoint its new president today after consultations at a meeting of the party’s top decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee, over a month after Rahul Gandhi resigned from the post to take responsibility for the drubbing at the hands of the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.

But both Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi won’t be part of the deliberations to select the party president as the two have left the meeting after the CWC set up five groups for discussions with state unit leaders according to regions.

After leaving the meeting, Sonia Gandhi said it would be improper for her and Rahul to be present in the consultations process to choose a new chief. Inside the CWC, just before walking out, Sonia and Rahul said it would be a conflict if interest. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, however, stayed on as she is a general secretary in the party.

Veteran leader Mukul Wasnik and former Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, have emerged as the frontrunners for the post, but there is a degree of uncertainty after Rahul Gandhi intervened in the selection process. Sources said he does not want to leave the election on old guards in Congress Parliamentary Party and wants state leaders and general secretaries to have a say too.