Sonia Gandhi on Saturday assumed the presidency of Congress again, two years after she had relinquished the post for her son, Rahul Gandhi.

Sonia accepted the Congress Working Committee (CWC) proposal to take over as interim president.

She was party president for 19 years and during this period, the Congress headed two back-to-back governments at the centre.

After day-long deliberations, the Congress on Saturday failed to name a party leader from outside the Gandhi family.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC)finally accepted Rahul’s resignation.

Randeep Singh Surjewala, the Congress communications in-charge and CWC member, said that the party decided on Sonia Gandhi’s name as it wanted a strong leadership, one whose command would be accepted by all.

Her return as interim chief comes ahead of a string of state elections later this year.

Earlier, the CWC decided that Rahul Gandhi “should continue as Congress President as desired by all who were consulted today and requested him to accept this decision”. However, Rahul “declined to withdraw his resignation”.

The CWC also put on record “its profound sense of appreciation and gratitude for the exceptional leadership provided by Rahul Gandhi as president”.

Rahul Gandhi had quit the party’s top post in May after its disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha election and subsequently refused the party’s requests to withdraw his resignation.

On his resignation, owning up responsibility for the party’s poor showing in the elections, it said that it was evidence of Rahul’s “instinctive moral compass” setting new standards of accountability in public life”.

“The CWC applauds his courage, commitment and conviction in stepping down as Congress President which was a deeply personal decision. Each and every Congressman and woman looks to him for continued support and guidance,” the CWC said.