Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was elected as the chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) on Saturday, June 1. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had proposed Sonia Gandhi's name.
Amid the uncertainty over Rahul Gandhi's resignation as the party president, Congress had reportedly debated the possibility of him being the parliamentary chairperson at least.
The suspense over the Congress party's leader in the 17th Lok Sabha, however, continues. In the 16th Lok Sabha, the post was held by senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge who failed to win the national election this time. Sonia Gandhi will now elect the leaders in the parliament.
Taking to Twitter, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Smt Sonia Gandhi elected as the leader of Congress Parliamentary Party!"
The recently concluded Lok Sabha elections have left the Congress with 52 newly elected Lok Sabha MPs - marginally higher than the figure of 44 in 2014 general elections. The party is three members short of the figure that would qualify it for the post of the Leader of the Opposition.
Today's meeting was attended by all 52 lawmakers of the Congress along with the party's Rajya Sabha MPs.
While speaking at the CPP meeting, Rahul Gandhi too thanked the voters and Congress workers. "Every Congress member must remember that each one of you is fighting for the Constitution, for every person in India irrespective of the colour of his skin or belief," Rahul Gandhi was quoted as saying in a tweet by Surjewala.
This was the first official meeting attended by Rahul Gandhi, after the party's working committee held on May 25, where he offered to quit as the Congress chief. Although the working committee rejected his offer, he has remained firm on his decision to resign.
The grand old Congress party faced a humiliating defeat on May 23 in the Lok Sabha elections, when it slumped to its worst performance ever – winning just 52 of the 542 seats in the lower house of Parliament, the Lok Sabha – the Indian National Congress is in a state of drift.