Congress workers felicitate Sonia on her re-election

September 4th, 2010 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) Hundreds of Congress workers thronged 10, Janpath, the official residence of party president Sonia Gandhi, to congratulate her on her re-election as party chief — for a record fourth successive time making her the longest-serving incumbent in the post in the 125-year-old party.
Chanting slogans, party workers - men, women and children - raised slogans in praise of the 63-year-old Sonia and her son and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi. They also distributed sweets and danced to the beats of drums.

Many of the party workers, mainly from Delhi, were permitted to greet Gandhi personally.

As they celebrated the victory of Sonia, usually referred to as either Soniaji or madam Gandhi, outside her residence, the members of the outgoing Congress Working Committee (CWC), now the steering committee, also met Gandhi to congratulate her.

The new CWC will be elected and come into effect only at the plenary session of party, which is expected to be held later this year.

“Senior party leaders including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and party general secretary Digvijay Singh were among those who met Sonia Gandhi to congratulate her,” a senior party leader said.

Rahul Gandhi could not be part of the team of the steering committee members as he is touring Bihar, which goes for polls later this year, said the leader.

Gandhi was Friday re-elected unopposed as the Congress president for a fourth successive term, adding to her record as the longest serving chief of the 125-year-old party.

Gandhi first became the party president in 1998. Sewing up alliances in the 2004 polls to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the centre, she also led the party to victory in the 2009 general elections.

She declined to be the prime minister after the 2004 polls and took the wind out of the sails of the campaign by some opposition parties about her foreign origin.

Gandhi headed the National Advisory Council (NAC) during the first United Progressive Alliance government and made suggestions to the government to improve its social sector legislation including the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Right to Information Act.

The NAC was reconstituted this year with Gandhi as its chairperson. It is now examining the proposed food security bill and a bill on preventing communal violence, among other issues.

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