CWC Meet Updates: Sonia Gandhi has asked to be relieved as Congress president
Sonia Gandhi will remain the Congress's interim president for now, the party decided in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting which concluded after seven hours.
During the meeting, it was also decided that the new Congress chief will be elected within next six months.
Sonia Gandhi reportedly said in her closing remarks that she held "no ill-will" towards anyone in the party, a remark intended at the dissent-letter writers. "I am hurt but they are my colleagues, bygones are bygones, let us work together," she said, ending the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on a note of conciliation.
The crucial meeting started at 11 this morning -- a day after an explosive letter written by 26 top leaders calling for "a full-time, visible leadership" emerged -- with Sonia Gandhi's letter asking to be relieved as Congress president and asking the party to begin deliberations to set in place a process to find her replacement. Mrs Gandhi's announcement led to statements in support of her and sharp criticism of the letter-writers, mainly by Rahul Gandhi who intervened twice to accuse the "dissidents" of collaborating with the BJP.
Over 20 Congress leaders have, in a letter, called for a "full-time", "effective leadership" that will be "visible" and "active" in the field, sources said. It also called for "honest introspection" and suggested a "collective leadership", reforms including decentralisation of power, empowerment of state units and organizational elections at every level, sources said.
Here are the Highlights on Congress Working Committee meeting:
Leaders who wrote letter more committed to Congress than Rahul Gandhi to Congress: BJP leaders
The BJP on Monday took aim at Rahul Gandhi over his purported remarks that the letter by over 20 Congress leaders seeking changes in the organisation will help the ruling party, saying he is "obsessed" with the saffron party and that "one''s destruction is near when one stops using his own mind".
"So obsessed is Rahul Gandhi with the BJP that he is beginning to see Congress'' veteran leaders as those working in ''collusion'' with BJP. Someone rightly said when one's destruction is near, one stops using his own mind," BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said.
The Congress has denied that Rahul Gandhi, its former president, had accused any party leader of "colluding" with the BJP during the CWC meeting on Monday.
Checked On Sonia Gandhi Health Before Sending Letter: Ghulam Nabi Azad
Responding to Rahul Gandhi's sharp criticism of the "dissent" letter addressed to his mother Sonia Gandhi and its timing at a top Congress meet today, Ghulam Nabi Azad, one of the most senior signatories to the letter, responded to the charge that the letter was sent when the 73-year-old was unwell." itemprop="description
Assam Congress wants Rahul Gandhi as party president
The Congress' Assam unit on Monday said that it wants senior leader Rahul Gandhi as the party's national president as soon as the interim chief Sonia Gandhi demits the office.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) chief Ripun Bora said that all members of the party want a permanent president as early as possible.
Kerala Chief Minister takes a swipe at Congress, says it is in pathetic situation
Congress was in a "pathetic" situation and most of its leaders were waiting for a call to join the BJP, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday, taking a jibe at the party during the debate in the state assembly on a no-confidence motion moved by it against his government.
The Congress was not able to elect its leader while seniors were describing each other as "BJP agents", he said and claimed most of the leaders were waiting for a call from the BJP to join it.
Gandhi-Nehru family's political dominance over: Uma Bharti
The existence of the Gandhi-Nehru family is finished and their political dominance is over, said BJP leader Uma Bharti on Monday.
Speaking to the reporters, Ms Bharti said, "Gandhi-Nehru family's existence is finished their political dominance is over. Congress's existence is finished. So who stays at what post hardly matters now."
Goa Congress welcomes CWC resolution on Sonia Gandhi
Goa Congress on Monday welcomed the party working committee's (CWC) resolution urging Sonia Gandhi to continue as its interim chief till an AICC session can be convened.
The CWC has also authorised Sonia Gandhi to effect necessary organisational changes to deal with the challenges facing the party.
The CWC notes internal party issues can't be deliberated through the media: KC Venugopal
"The CWC notes that internal party issues cannot be deliberated through the media or public fora. CWC urges and advises all concerned to raise such issues only in party fora," says KC Venugopal.
CWC unanimously decides to strengthen the hands of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi: KC Venugopal
"The CWC has agreed to strengthen the hands of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi," Congress leader KC Venugopal said.
Members has expressed faith in Sonia Gandhi and urged her to continue leading the party. Next meeting will be called soon, probably within 6 months, to elect the new chief. Till then, Sonia Gandhi has agreed to remain interim president: PL Punia, Congress Working Committee
Sonia Gandhi to remain Congress party's interim president for now: Sources
Sonia Gandhi to remain Congress party's interim president for now, new chief to be elected within next 6 months. Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting has concluded after 7 hours: Sources
Sonia Gandhi should continue as party chief or convince Rahul Gandhi to take up the position: Siddaramaiah
Amid leadership debate in the Congress, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Monday that it is imperative that the party is led by a member of the Gandhi family.
In a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, he urged her to continue as the party chief or convince Rahul Gandhi to take up the position if she feels her health may not permit full-fledged dedication.
Jharkhand Congress chief requests Sonia Gandhi not to resign
Jharkhand Congress President Dr Rameshwar Oraon has written to Sonia Gandhi requesting not to resign from the post of the President of the party.
Even as Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi asked the Congress Working Committee (CWC) members to relive her from the top post, senior party leaders Manmohan Singh and AK Antony said that she should continue till a new party President is elected, sources said. Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi asked CWC members "to begin deliberations towards the process of transition to relieve her from the duty of party chief", sources said.
Congress is school where only headmaster's child tops class: Narottam Mishra
Amid the ongoing "letter politics" in Congress, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Monday took a jibe at Gandhi family, stating that "Congress is like the school where only headmaster's child tops the class".
While speaking to reporters, Mr Mishra took a jibe at the ongoing Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting and said that the opposition party has several eligible candidates for the post of party chief like Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Raihan Vadra and Miraya Vadra.
"Rahul Gandhi has neither in CWC nor outside said that this letter was written at the behest of BJP": Ghulam Nabi Azad
"Exemplary": Shatrughan Sinha On Rahul Gandhi's work
"You can call him pappu, you can call him feku, but what he has done is exemplary," Shatrughan Sinha said.
"The so-called leadership crisis should be resolved": Shatrughan Sinha speaks to NDTV on Congress churn
"Soon, sooner the better. We can't delay anymore as it is the question of national and inter-party importance. The so-called leadership crisis should be resolved," said Shatrughan Sinha while talking about 'old guard vs new guard'.
Leaders who give good suggestions to Congress are accused of colluding with BJP: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said that those leaders who give good suggestions to Congress are being accused of colluding with BJP and labelled as traitors.
"Those who give good suggestions to Congress, they are being accused of colluding with BJP. When Scindia ji raised his voice, he was accused of colluding with BJP. Now when leaders like Gulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal are demanding full-time party chief, they're also being accused of colluding with BJP. No one can save such a party," Mr Chouhan told ANI.
Muslim leaders in Congress should think for how long they'll remain slave of Congress leadership: Asaduddin Owaisi
"Rahul Gandhi Didn't Attack Us," Ghulam Nabi Azad Tells NDTV
Rahul Gandhi at no stage hinted that Ghulam Nabi Azad as well as the other signatories colluded with the BJP, Ghulam Nabi Azad told NDTV.
Mr Azad, who is one of the signatories, also clarified that he did not offer to resign on the basis of Rahul Gandhi's comments but the context of his offer to quit was in response to allegations levelled by other leaders on their collusion with the BJP.
Ahmed Patel while speaking at the meeting proposes Rahul Gandhi to take over as party president: sources
"Informed by Rahul Gandhi personally": Kapil Sibal deletes "collusion" tweet
After his tweet objecting to Rahul Gandhi's accusation, Kapil Sibal tweeted again to inform that he was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had also claimed that Mr Gandhi hasn't said a word of this nature nor alluded to it.
Priyanka Gandhi vadra is speaking now.
CWC live updates: What Manmohan Singh, AK Antony said after Sonia Gandhi's announcement
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the first person to speak after Sonia Gandhi declared her decision at a key Congress meet to quit as chief. Dr Singh, the third to speak at the virtual meeting after KC Venugopal and Sonia Gandhi, asked Mrs Gandhi to remain party president and hit out at the signatories of the letter.
"The letter is unfortunate," the former PM reportedly said. He remarked that "weakening the high command is weakening the Congress".
Another senior leader, AK Antony, asked Rahul Gandhi to take over as party president. (Read full story here
CWC live updates: Ghulam Nabi Azad offers to resign, say sources
Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is facing attack from the Gandhis and other members for writing thr letter has offered to resign, sources say. "Will resign if found to be guilty of colluding with the BJP," he has reportedly told at the meet.
Apart from Ghulam Nabi Azad, three CWC members - Anand Sharma, Mukul Wasnik and Jitin Prasada - are signatories of the dissent letter.
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other leaders hit out the moment Mr Azad begins speaking, sources say.
Crucial CWC meet underway: What we know so far CWC meet live updates: Ghulam Nabi Azad, one of the signatories of the letter, begins speaking
Ghulam Nabi Azad has begun speaking. Mr Azad along with 25 top leaders have called for "a full-time, visible leadership" in the party. He is reportedly quoting from the letter while addressing the crucual meeting.
Rahul Gandhi has intervened for the second time. The Congress leader has accused the dissent letter writers of colluding with the BJP.
Rahul Gandhi has finished speaking. Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh is speaking now. Ghulam Nabi Azad, one of the signatories of the letter, is yet to speak.
CWC Meet Live Updates - Timing of letter wrong, says Rahul Gandhi: Sources
Rahul Gandhi starts addressing Congress meeting now. Mr Gandhi, according to sources, is upset over the timing of the letter. The Congress leader said he was "hurt" as the letter was leaked when the party was fighting battle in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. "Why was the timing of the letter chosen when Congress was fighting in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, when the Congress President was sick," Mr Gandhi has reportedly told at the meeting.
AK Antony has begun speaking now. The senior Congress leader has requested Rahul Gandhi to continue. Mr Antony also hit out at dissidents for making the letter public.
Former Prime Minister and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh is speaking now. He has requested Mrs Gandhi to continue in her current role.
"Replace Me As Interim Chief": Sonia Gandhi tells CWC members
Sonia Gandhi is speaking now. The interim Congress chief has requested the party to relieve her from her current role. "Replace Me As Interim Chief," Mrs Gandhi has said, sources say. She also raised about the China standoff at the meet.
CWC meet updates: KC Venugopal hits out at dissidents
KC Venugopal is learnt to have raised the letter written by Congress leaders at the meet, sources say. He has questioned why the letter was leaked to media ahead of the meet. Over 20 Congress leaders calling for sweeping reforms, introspection and "a full-time, visible leadership".
Congress Working Committee meeting has begun. General Secretary KC Venugopal is making opening remarks.
Congress workers raise slogans outside AICC office, demanding that Party President should be from Gandhi family.
Congress worker Jagdish Sharma says, "We want Party President from Gandhi family only. Party will be destroyed & break away if any outsider is made President." (ANI)
Maharashtra Congress Committee extends support to Sonia Gandhi to continue as party president
Maharashtra Congress Committee extends support to Sonia Gandhi to continue as party president. The resolution says that it is "only" because of her leadership that the party came in power. "In case she refuses our request, we would seek Shri Rahul Gandhi ji to immediately take over as the AICC President," the resolution states.
This is the first time since 1999, when Sharad Pawar walked out over Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin, that the Congress has seen an organized revolt against the Nehru-Gandhi leadership. Sources say going by the Congress playbook, there may be a "unanimous resolution" reposing faith in Sonia Gandhi as chief.
Here are some scenarios of what may happen at the CWC
1. Sonia Gandhi resigns, is adamant about not coming back.
Rahul Gandhi is adamant about not taking over
Sonia Gandhi stays on as interim president until a non-Gandhi president is selected through elections or mutual consensus.
2. Sonia Gandhi resigns and is adamant about not coming back
Rahul Gandhi, who quit last year, is open to taking over
Rahul Gandhi takes over as interim Congress president
Rahul Gandhi, say sources, is firm on not returning as Congress president. He is keen to continue to work for the party and fight the BJP-led RSS, sources close to him told NDTV.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also clear she will remain as a general secretary and not take on any bigger leadership role in the party, sources said.
Amarinder Singh, Bupesh Baghel and Siddaramaiah have come out in support of Gandhis
Sources say the August 7 letter by the "dissidents" has split the Congress down the middle with leaders like Amarinder Singh, Bhupesh Baghel and Siddaramaiah coming out in support of the Gandhis.
"Sonia Gandhi should continue as long as she wants; Rahul Gandhi should take over after her as he is fully competent," Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Sunday evening.
Many believe the letter was intended to thwart attempts to bring back Rahul Gandhi as party chief. Over the past few weeks, many Congress leaders have pitched for his return.
The CWC's virtual meeting is set to begin with Sonia Gandhi delivering the opening address and announcing her decision to resign.
Opinion: Behind The Scenes Of Sonia Gandhi's Big Move
At the all-important Congress meeting tomorrow, Sonia Gandhi is likely to go ahead with her resignation as President and insist on the party finding a replacement for her as President. Unlike the time that she resigned in 1999, and then decided to continue as President, this time around, she is unlikely to allow herself to be persuaded into going back on her decision. She has already instructed KC Venugopal, the Organizational General Secretary of the party, to find a replacement at the earliest. She could at best continue till a replacement is found, that too for a very limited period of time."
Over 20 Congress leaders have written a letter demanding overhaul of party leadership
The letter, signed by senior leaders like Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prithviraj Chavan, Vivek Tankha and Anand Sharma, called for a "full-time", "effective leadership" that will be "visible" and "active" in the field, sources said.
It also called for "honest introspection" and suggested a "collective leadership", reforms including decentralisation of power, empowerment of state units and organizational elections at every level, sources said.
Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi reluctant to accept top post: Sources
Rahul Gandhi is firm on his stand not to accept the party top post again, sources close to him told NDTV. His sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is also clear she will remain as a general secretary and not take on a bigger role, sources said.
Mr Gandhi had stepped down from the top post last year after the party's second consecutive defeat in general elections. Before stepping down from the post, he had said the party should search for a new leader outside the Gandhi family. He has specifically said his mother and sister should not be roped in. (Read full story here
Will resign, Sonia Gandhi tells aides after Congress letter row
Sonia Gandhi, 73, will either resign immediately or give the party a deadline to find a new chief, sources said ahead of a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the party's top decision-making body, today.
Mrs Gandhi has decided that the matter will be discussed at the Working Committee meeting today, sources said. (Read full story here
Sonia Gandhi has told her aides that she does not want to continue as interim Congress president, sources said on Sunday amid a massive controversy over a letter by more than 20 top party leaders calling for sweeping reforms, introspection and "a full-time, visible leadership".