The selection of Sonia Gandhi was convenient for the Congress in more ways than one. Four days after the party's Working Committee -- its top decision-making body picked her to take charge as interim chief, the party's headquarters in Delhi reflected the change.
Outside Sonia Gandhi's room, one can now see her old nameplates, naming her as the party's president. No changes have been necessary, except perhaps dusting.
The grey and black nameplates -- in English and Hindi -- had hung there for nearly 20 years as Mrs Gandhi firmly held the party's rudder since taking charge at an equally chaotic time in 1998.
It was taken off in December 2017, when Rahul Gandhi was formally named the party chief.
It was Rahul Gandhi's decision to step down after the party's devastating defeat -- for a second time -- in the Lok Sabha elections that brought the spotlight back on 72-year-old, who over the last two years, had largely kept away from the public eye following reports of ill health.
After being taken ill during a roadshow in Varanasi in 2017, ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Mrs Gandhi has cut down on her schedule. Even for the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, she had kept campaigning at a minimum.
She, however, retained the post of the UPA chairperson and remained very much a part of the party's decision-making process. Last year, she was instrumental in striking an alliance with HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular in Karnataka even before the counting of votes were over.
For the Congress, desperately trying to keep its flock together in face of the BJP march, the choice has appeared been obvious, despite Rahul Gandhi's instructions to look for a non-Gandhi option.
Last month, asked if she was open to taking over as temporary party chief, Sonia Gandhi had been non-committal.
Most Congressmen have hailed the selection of Sonia Gandhi as the interim chief.
"It was the best decision in the current circumstances. Her experience and understanding will help guide Congress," Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tweeted.
Happy to see Smt. Sonia Gandhi ji back in the saddle. It was the best decision in the current circumstances. Her experience and understanding will help guide @INCIndia. I wish her and the party all the best. pic.twitter.com/IathmJDkBq— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) August 10, 2019
Congress MP Manish Tiwari said Mrs Gandhi has the "right experience" to guide the party.
"Overseeing the affairs of Congress since several years, Smt. Sonia Gandhi has the right experience to guide the party in the present circumstances. Welcoming Congress Working Committee's decision to pass on the reins to her by nominating her as the interim President," his tweet read.
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