Congress won't become 'headless' at stroke of midnight, Sonia Gandhi to remain interim chief

 New Delhi, Aug 09: Congress National Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi's tenure is 'coming to an end', but that does not mean the party is becoming 'headless' at the stroke of the midnight.

"Sonia Gandhi's tenure is coming to an end. I assure you, there is a procedure for this [to elect a new party President] which goes through the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and it will be done very soon in near future. And since we are bound by our constitution, a decision will be made and you will be informed about it," said Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

"She will continue as the Congress party's interim president till a new leader is chosen as per the procedure laid down in our constitution and the decision will be implemented in not too distant future,' he added.

Asked about the prevailing confusion over whether Sonia Gandhi's term ends tomorrow or there is no deadline for when the term of an interim president ends, he said it is very clear that neither nature nor politics, nor political parties, permit or tolerate a vacuum.

"Just like nature abhors a vacuum, political parties cannot function in a vacuum. It is true that the tenure is expiring tomorrow. There is a laid down procedure in the (party) constitution for elections. As you know it goes through the CWC etc.," Singhvi said.

"Now, in the meanwhile, if anybody is suggesting that the Congress will become headless on the stroke of midnight on August 10 you have to only ask yourself, is it possible, is that a fair interpretation of any constitution that on August 10 suddenly the seat becomes vacant," he said.

A reluctant Sonia Gandhi had taken over as interim chief on August 10 last year after Rahul Gandhi resigned taking responsibility for the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha election.

Sonia Gandhi has been Congress president from 1998 to 2017. She was credited with revival of the Congress in late 90s and early 2000s. Under her leadership, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won two elections. She is chairperson of the UPA as well.

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