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21 November 2017, 12:37 | Ruby West
CWC meet today to clear decks for Rahul Gandhi's elevation as party chief
After months of speculation, the stage is now set for Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to take over as the party president from his mother Sonia Gandhi who has held the post for almost two decades.
The BJP on Monday hit back at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for her criticism of the government over likely curtailment of Parliament'sWinter Session, saying her charge was a "lie" and would rank among the "greatest hypocrisies" in recent times. In the event of an election, the result will be out on December 19, a day after the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh poll results.
Mr Gandhi's immediate challenge is the polls in Mr Modi's home state of Gujarat, which takes place in two phases on Dec 9 and 14.
She said last month that her son would be elevated as Congress chief soon amid growing clamor for Rahul Gandhi to take over the reins of the party, particularly from youth leaders.
Briefing reporters after the CWC meeting, party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, "Sonia Gandhi is our leader and mentor".
"Unlike Modi - who has associated himself with such ideas as Swachh Bharat - there is no distinctive area with which Rahul has been able to associate himself till now", she said.
"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". Having been serving as the party vice-president since January 13, Rahul had begun to exert control over the party by infusing young blood in key positions.
Meanwhile, the CWC formally initiated the process for electing a new president on Monday. After the meeting, the CWC also condoled the death of its veteran leader and former Union Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.
Still, Mr Gandhi, who is often called a reluctant prince, has struggled to make his mark in Indian politics and has been unable to revive the Congress party - seen as a secular party with its traditional voter base in rural India and among minorities - with India today led by popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Election Commission has given the party the last extension for completing the internal poll process by the end of this year.
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