CWC meets next week to pick Rahul Gandhi’s successor, Sonia likely to stay away

New Congress president: Having plunged into a leadership crisis after Rahul Gandhis resignation as the Congress president following the Lok Sabha elections drubbing, the grand old party has finally decided to pick his successor and get on with the arduous task of rebuilding the party. The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body in the party, will meet next week to pick Rahul Gandhis successor, a report in The Indian Express said. The meeting is likely to be held on July 10 in the national capital. The party went into a huddle on Thursday with its top leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora doing a brainstorming session at Azads chamber in the Parliament on Thursday. According to the IE report, the decision to convene a meeting of the CWC next week was taken even as Rahuls mother and Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi is said to have conveyed to the senior leadership that she would prefer to keep out of the exercise to find a new president. Citing sources, it said that some of the leaders also met Sonia later but she kept herself away from taking part in the process to pick Rahuls successor, which means the next Congress president will not come from the Gandhi-Nehru family. While Rahul on Wednesday made it clear that he is no longer the Congress president and urged the CWC to pick his successor, there is still no clarity on the frontrunner for the top job although several names have been doing the rounds. Citing a senior leader, the daily reported that one senior leader hinted that a provisional president could be appointed and Mallikarjun Kharge, who was Leader of the Congress in the 16th Lok Sabha, could be given the responsibility. Interestingly, Kharges elevation will come even as he lost his Gulbarga seat in Karnataka to BJP Umesh G Jadhav in the Lok Sabha polls. Another leader, however, downplayed the reports that a provisional president could be appointed before the Congress Working Committee meeting, adding that the CWC can be chaired by the most senior general secretary of the party. Rahul Deepest respect for your decision, Meanwhile, former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat resigned as partys general secretary, taking moral responsibility for the party Rawat is in charge of the Assam.