Sonia set to become Congress chief for 4th time

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday filed nomination papers for another term in office.

New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi, 63, is set to be chosen president of the ruling Congress for the fourth time, with all party office bearers nominating her for the post Thursday. It will make her the longest serving party president in the 125-year history of the Congress.

Central ministers, party general secretaries, chief ministers of Congress-ruled states and Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs submitted the nomination papers with Sonia Gandhi`s name at the party headquarters here, sources said.

Among them were Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, veterans Motilal Vora and K. Karunakaran. They submitted the nominations to the Congress` chief electoral authority Oscar Fernandes.

Before submission of the nomination papers, Sonia Gandhi gave her consent to being re-elected to the post at her 10 Janpath residence. Senior Congress leaders from all states presented her the nomination papers for acceptance.

A senior party leader said Sonia Gandhi would visit the party headquarters Friday to receive the certificate of election.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi broke off his three-day trip in his constituency Amethi to travel to New Delhi to meet his mother. He will back in Amethi in the afternoon, a party spokesperson said in Lucknow.

The last date for filing nominations for the post of Congress president is Sep 2.
Sonia Gandhi, who is also chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), first became Congress president in 1998.