The Congress Working Committee met on Monday to formally initiate the process for the election of party president.

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Announcing the dates for the election at a press conference in New Delhi, the party said the poll notification will be issued on December 1 and the nomination and scrutiny process will be completed by December 5. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is December 11. Voting, if needed, will be held on December 16 and results will be declared on December 19, the party said.

Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said CWC members have unanimously passed a resolution to elevate Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who chaired the meeting, is likely to step down from the role and could continue as chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party.

“Sonia Gandhi is our leader and mentor. She has always guided the Congress party. Her able leadership and guidance will always be available. Not only to Rahulji, also to the thousands and thousands of party worker,” Surjewala said.

If elected unopposed on dec 5th Rahul Gandhi will take over as President before the assembly election results in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat are declared.

“The way the farmers want to commit suicide, Congress will not accept this,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala quoted Sonia Gandhi as saying in the CWC meeting.

Surjewala said that Sonia Gandhi denounced Modi government's attempt to scuttling democracy. “Modi government wants to stay away from Winter session,” Surjewala said. Surjewala said that Sonia thanked party leaders for their contribution.

On the issues of GST and demonetisation, Sonia said: “Unemployment, rising inflation, falling exports and GST are causing tremendous suffering to millions of people. A year later, demonetization has done nothing but rub salt on the wounds of distressed farmers, small traders, housewives and daily workers”.

It is important to note that Rahul has said if voted to power in 2019 Congress will rewrite the GST towards traders and people friendly.