Sonia may step down as Congress President by Oct 15
Sonia Gandhi may step down from the Congress presidentship, paving the way for Rahul Gandhi's possible elevation when the party holds its internal elections by October 15.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's highest decision-making body, today approved the schedule for internal elections under which the party has to complete the exercise by October 15.
In her speech at the CWC meeting, Sonia Gandhi exhorted partymen to strengthen the organisation and complete the organisational polls with "speed and sincerity".
"We must strengthen our organisation. The ongoing organisational elections must be completed with the utmost speed and sincerity," she said at the meeting, ahead of the CWC approving the poll schedule.
Asked whether the issue of elevation of Rahul Gandhi was discussed at the meeting, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad replied in the negative.
"The schedule for organisational elections has been cleared by the CWC," Azad said, adding that Rahul's elevation was not specifically discussed.
The CWC members had in the last meeting in November unanimously expressed "strong sentiment" for Rahul's elevation for the first time and may take it further.
At the November 7 meeting, all members, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and senior leader A K Antony, had made a strong pitch for Rahul to take over the reins of the party.
The Congress president has created a record by being at the helm of the 130-year-old organisation for nearly two decades since late Sitaram Kesri's ouster by the CWC in early 1998.
Rahul was appointed party vice president in January 2013 at Congress's brainstorming session in Jaipur.