Rahul Gandhi to become Congress leader next month

CWC meet today to clear decks for Rahul Gandhi's elevation as party chief

Paving the way for Rahul Gandhi to lead the party, the Congress on Monday announced elections to choose the next party president on December 16 "if necessary".

The Congress on Sunday released its first list of 77 candidates for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections.

Rahul Gandhi will be crowned the Congress president on December 11 and replace his mother Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi was speaking at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee.

Reportedly, an internal assessment by the party had earlier shown that his elevation would benefit the Congress in Gujarat assembly polls. The CWC meet also assumes significance in view of the Election Commission's December 31 deadline to complete party polls.

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"Sonia Gandhi said", The Prime Minister had the audacity to have a midnight celebration in Parliament to launch an ill prepared and flawed GST but today he lacks the courage to face Parliament". "Thus, despite a disastrous track record, Rahul's elevation as the next Congress president was a foregone conclusion", he added. "It will always be available to not just Rahul-ji but also Congress men and women", he said. After the meeting, the CWC also condoled the death of its veteran leader and former Union Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. However, the incumbent Congress president is unwell and it's time she passed on the leadership baton.

"Sonia Gandhi is our leader and mentor". Those eligible to vote are Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates who have already been elected by their respective state units.

Once the president is named, he or she will choose a new CWC team comprising vice-president, general secretaries and treasurer among other office-bearers.

Sonia Gandhi, now 70, has been unwell in recent years and scaled down her public appearances because of the same. Here, the meeting was chaired by the party chief Sonia Gandhi to discuss over the name of the new party president.

"The Modi government, in its arrogance, has cast a dark shadow on India's parliamentary democracy by sabotaging the Winter session of Parliament on flimsy grounds", she told the party's highest decision-making body.

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