After poll debacle, Congress MPs choose Sonia Gandhi as their leader
New Delhi, June 01: Sonia Gandhi has been elected as the leader of Congress Parliamentary Party during the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting.
The Congress won just 52 of 542 parliamentary seats this time, its second worst performance since 2014 election.
"Sonia Gandhi elected as the leader of Congress Parliamentary Party! She says, 'we thank the 12.13 crore voters for reposing faith in the Congress Party'," Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
She also thanked Rahul Gandhi "for toiling night and day and taking on the Modi government... raising concerns about all sections of society and helped the party win in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan".
"As we speak, emotional messages are coming for his continuation (as the party chief). The Congress Working Committee met to deliberate the issue and must take steps," she added.
"Even though we were only 44 members in the previous Lok Sabha, and about 55 in the Rajya Sabha, under Rahulji's leadership, the Congress party has fought bravely to expose the government's misdeeds. I want to congratulate all of them for their hard work. We were in the forefront of ensuring that some of the UPA's historic Acts were not diluted, " she further said.
"At the same time, we cooperated with the government on a series of reforms, with constructive suggestions. This time too, we will support progressive and inclusive policies but oppose the government strongly whenever they undertake divisive and regressive actions," Sonia said.
This was also the first official meeting that Congress president Rahul Gandhi will attend after the meeting of the party's working committee held on May 25, where he offered to quit as Congress chief.
The CWC has already 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.
According to the reports, Rahul could be asked to either head the CPP or lead the party in the Lok Sabha.
With 52 MPs in Lok Sabha, the Congress doesn't qualify to get the official Leader of the Opposition. But the party would need to choose a new leader in the Lok Sabha as its previous leader, Mallikarjun Kharge, lost the election in his constituency.
The party is three members short of the total that would qualify it for the post of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.