Sonia Gandhi re-elected Congress President

Sonia Gandhi re-elected Congress President
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
New Delhi, May 28 (PTI) Sonia Gandhi was today formally elected unopposed Congress President for a third term amid expectations that she would give greater responsibility to generation next, including Rahul Gandhi, in the organisation at various levels to make it more vibrant.

Gandhi was re-elected for the top party post a year after she marshalled opposition forces to hand out a shock defeat to the BJP-led coalition in the Lok Sabha polls and later renounced the post of Prime Minister.

After she was declared elected unanimously, Gandhi told jubiliant partymen at the AICC headquarters in the presence of senior leaders and Union Ministers that "we should not rest on our laurels and should be more active than earlier".

Gandhi, who also heads the ruling Congress-led UPA, preceded her remarks by saying that the party had encountered many a challenges in the past and regained power at the Centre after eight long years.

With Gandhi's formal re-election as party chief, the entire AICC secretariat has in a way assumed a caretaker status. She, however, has made it clear earlier that she has no plans to make drastic changes in the setup. At the same time, she has said that generation next including Rahul would have to share greater responsibility.

Gandhi's re-election would be ratified at the party Plenary expected to be held in the next few months. Reports said that the Congress President was toying with the idea of holding a contest for the ten elected seats of the Congress Working Committee to infuse fresh blood in the apex policy making body of the party.

Taking over the reins of the organisation in 1998 replacing late Sitaram Kesri, Gandhi has been at the helm of the party since then. Gandhi had faced contest for the party Presidentship last time when senior leader late Jitendra Prasada had thrown his hat in the ring, but she had won effortlessly.

Besides being the UPA Chairperson, she also heads the National Advisory Council on the National Common Minimum Programme. Gandhi is also the Chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whom Gandhi had nominated to the post, as also several senior leaders, party chief Ministers and Union Ministers had filed 100 nominations proposing her name for party presidentship.

Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, who heads the Central Election Authority of the party, announced Gandhi's "unopposed election" after scrutiny of nominations today in which 97 nominations were found valid.

Soon after it was jubiliation all around the party headquarters with party workers raising slogans hailing Gandhi and bursting crackers and beating drums.

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