Sonia, Rahul Gandhi not to take part in selection process of new Congress president. (File Photo: PTI)
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and outgoing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi have decided not to take part in selection process of the new party chief. "We (She and Rahul Gandhi) will not be a part of the consultation process (to decide next party chief) and that is why we are leaving," Sonia Gandhi told media persons.
Sonia Gandhi said her name was included by default in the region-wise committees formed for wider consultations on selecting a new party chief.
Rahul Gandhi left soon after, saying he would be visiting his parliamentary constituency Wayanad in Kerala, which is currently ravaged by heavy rains.
Meanwhile, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting has concluded and reports suggest that a consultation process is going on to decide on the name of next party president. Some reports suggest that the member of CWC may meet again in the evening to discuss the matter.
According to sources, the CWC has decided to have consultations with leaders from across the country and the party's top decision-making body then was divided into five groups for different regions -- northeast, east, north, west, and south.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi told the leaders of CWC that he was happy to note that the party was under pressure to select its new chief and drew an analogy with a tiger, which maintained its ferocity under pressure.
"I am happy that the Congress is under pressure and this will jolt the Congress into action," Gandhi is learnt to have told the party leaders.
The party general secretaries, in-charges and other CWC members have been asked to hold consultations in groups with PCC chiefs, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders and departmental heads separately and come out with a consensus as regards the name of the new Congress president, sources said.
Sources said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, senior party leaders Azad, P Chidambaram, the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Puducherry -- Ashok Gehlot and V Narayanasamy -- were present at the meeting among others.
The names of senior Congress leaders Mukul Wasnik and Mallikarjun Kharge and some younger leaders are doing the rounds for the top post. If Wasnik becomes the new Congress chief, it would be the first time in two decades that a non-Gandhi will lead the Grand Old Party.