Sonia Gandhi to continue as Leader of Congress Parliamentary Party
- Team PT
Sonia Gandhi to continue as Leader of Congress Parliamentary Party



Sonia Gandhi was once again elected as the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) leader in the first meeting of the newly-elected Lok Sabha Congress MPs in the national capital on Saturday.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh proposed her name. The suspense is now over whom the chairperson names as the leader of the party in parliament - her son Rahul Gandhi, who wants to step down as the party chief, or another member.

Amid efforts to get him to change his mind about resigning the party post, the Congress has debated the possibility of Rahul Gandhi at least leading the party in parliament. 
The Congress is three members short of the figure that would qualify it for the post of the Leader of the Opposition. The rout in the recently held Lok Sabha elections has left the party with 52 lawmakers - marginally higher than the figure of 44 in 2014.

The meeting comes a week after Rahul Gandhi had expressed his desire to quit as Congress president taking moral responsibility of the loss in Lok Sabha elections.
Political circles were abuzz with speculations, with a report in The Indian Express stating that Congress MPs are also likely to select their leader in the Upper House in its first meeting after the constitution of the 17th Lok Sabha.

The position of the Leader of the Congress was occupied by party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge in the last Lok Sabha. Mr Kharge, however, lost the election from Karnataka's Gulbarga -- the first electoral loss for the nine-time legislator and two-term Lok Sabha member.

At the meeting, Sonia Gandhi thanked the 12.13 crore people who voted for the Congress -- pointing out that even in defeat, the party has a sizeable voter base.
In an emotive note, she also thanked Rahul Gandhi "for toiling night and day and taking on the Modi government... raising concerns about all sections of society and helped the party win in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan".

"As we speak, emotional messages are coming for his continuation (as the party chief). The Congress Working Committee met to deliberate the issue and must take steps," she added.

After Saturday's Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, situation in the party may get clearer. The meeting was held in the central hall of Parliament and MPs chalked out its strategy for the upcoming session of Parliament.
 

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