Rahul Gandhi to formally take over as Congress president on Saturday

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi will formally take over as chief of the Congress party on Saturday from his mother Sonia Gandhi, who was at the helm the country`s oldest party for 19 years.

The entire process will be completed after the central election authority president Mullapally Ramachandran hands over the certificate of election to the newly-elected president of the Congress.

Ramachandran had said on December 11, 2017, “Since the withdrawal of date/time is over and as there is only one candidate (Rahul), as per Article XVII (d) of the Constitution of Indian National Congress, I hereby declare shri Rahul Gandhi elected as president of the Indian National Congress.”

Altogether 89 sets of nominations were filed for the election to the top post and all were on behalf of Rahul.

On his elevation, the Congress leader had tweeted:

Former PM Manmohan Singh, Sonia, current and former chief ministers, MPs, senior Congress leaders, and all PCC chiefs and delegates will be present at the handing over ceremony.

Gandhi had been the party vice president for over four years since 2013. The 47-year-old takes over the reins of the grand old party two days before the counting of votes for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.

Before Rahul, other members of the family who occupied the post of Congress president were Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi.

Meanwhile, asked what role she will assume after Rahul takes over the reins of the party, Sonia on Friday told the media in the Parliament complex, “My role is to retire.”

On the other hand, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said she has retired as Congress president and not from politics, dismissing speculation that she has quit public life.

He said her wisdom will continue to be the guiding light for the party.

(With IANS and PTI inputs)