Sonia Gandhi was elected as the Chairperson of Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) in a meeting held in the central hall of Parliament on Friday where all 52 Lok Sabha MPs of the Congress besides its members in the Rajya Sabha were present.
This is the fourth consecutive time that Sonia Gandhi has been elected to the post.
Party president Rahul Gandhi was also present at the meeting.
However, suspense over the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha continued as the party authorised Sonia Gandhi to decide on it. Gandhi will consult senior leaders and take a decision on it. Rahul Gandhi has been firm on his decision to quit as the party president.
Addressing the Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi said the party has “52 lawmakers” and it will “fight the BJP every single day”.
“You have to understand who you are first. You are fighting for every single Indian,” he told party lawmakers.
He further asked the party leaders to fight hatred, cowardice and anger with love and compassion.
In a tweet, Gandhi also congratulated Sonia Gandhi for being elected as CPP Chairperson.
Congratulations to Smt Sonia Gandhi on being elected Leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party. Under her leadership, the Congress will prove to be a strong & effective opposition party, that will fight to defend the Constitution of India. pic.twitter.com/iUcdB51tHE
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 1, 2019
After being elected as the Chairperson of CPP, Sonia Gandhi thanked the 12.3 crore voters and told them that their vote will be protected for democratic institutions.
She also thanked her son and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for toiling night and day and taking on the Modi government.
Sonia said the Congress will support progressive inclusive development but oppose any divisive measures.
She further asked the party to assure the people of India of an alert and conscious opposition.
“People of India expect us to earn their mandate and we must work toward it. There is a huge challenge that lies ahead,” she concluded.
After the Lok Sabha poll debacle, this is for the first time that the newly-elected MPs of the Congress had met to elect the new leader of the parliamentary party.
According to reports, this is also the first official meeting that Rahul Gandhi attended after the meeting of the party’s working committee held on May 25, where he offered to quit as Congress chief.
The CWC, the highest decision making body of the party, however, rejected his offer to resign and unanimously passed a resolution authorising him to bring structural changes in the party at all levels in a bid to revamp it.
The Congress won just 52 of 542 parliamentary seats in the Lok Sabha election, its second worst performance since 2014 election.
The BJP won 303 seats while the NDA bagged 353. A total of 57 leaders from BJP and NDA allies were sworn in as ministers. Ministerial berths were allocated earlier on Friday.