Sonia Gandhi to continue as Congress president, ‘chintan shivir’ to be held soon,

New Delhi, March 13 : Sonia Gandhi will continue as the Congress President, the party said on Sunday after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision making body of the party. Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the whole Congress Working Committee reposed it’s faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi till organisational elections are held in August. According to some leaders who attended the meet, Sonia Gandhi told the CWC she was ready to make “any sacrifice” that the party workers may ask. The CWC reposed their faith in her leadership. “One thing, every single member of the Congress Party was unanimous upon that only and only, they have absolute faith in the leadership of Smt Sonia Gandhi and Smt Sonia Gandhi Ji shall continue to lead us until the conclusion of the organizational elections and there cannot be a whisper, otherwise on any such front of leadership,” Surjewala said. He also said every Congress worker wants Rahul Gandhi to lead the party, but as the process of the organisational polls is underway, the next president will be decided through that process. Party General Secretary KC Venugopal said a ‘chintan shivir’ would be held after the Budget session of Parliament for brainstorming on the future course of action for the party, organisational reforms and upcoming elections. Sources said CWC leaders asked Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to be more active and interact more with party leaders and workers. “The recent Assembly election results of five states are a cause of serious concern for the Indian National Congress. The party accepts that due to shortcomings in our strategy, we could not effectively expose the misrule of BJP State Governments in four States and overcome the anti-incumbency in the State of Punjab in the short time after effecting a change of leadership,” the Congress said in a statement. “While humbly accepting the electoral verdict of the latest round of Assembly elections, the Congress party assures its workers and the people of India that it will continue to remain a vigilant and vibrant opposition.” “The Congress Party will be fully prepared to face the electoral challenges in the election going states in 2022 & 2023 as well as in the Lok Sabha elections 2024,” Congress said. On the outcome of the polls, Surjewala said a comprehensive report was submitted by each of the In-charge of the five election going states. For Punjab, Harish Choudhary, who was the state in-charge, Ajay Maken, who was Chairman of the Screening Committee in Punjab; for Uttarakhand, Devender Yadav, the state in-charge and Harish Rawat, Chairman of the Campaign Committee; for Goa, Dinesh Gundu Rao, in-charge of the state, and P. Chidambaram, who was a Senior Observer for Goa; for Manipur, Bhakta Charan Das, in-charge for the state and Jairam Ramesh, who was a Senior Observer for Manipur; and for Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who poll in-charge, and General Secretary for state of Uttar Pradesh and Bhupesh Baghel, who was Senior Observer for Uttar Pradesh presented report. The Congress Chief Spokesperson added discussions took place in a “free and frank fashion”. The Congress also said it “represents the hopes of millions of Indians against political authoritarianism prevailing in the country today and the party is fully conscious of its immense responsibility”. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and senior party leader AK Antony were among the leaders who could not attend the meeting. AO SHK2349

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