New Delhi : Congress President Sonia Gandhi has convened a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) at her residence at 10 Janpath on Monday at 10.30 AM to finalise the schedule for election of the new president.

She is thus clearing the decks for elevation of her son and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to take over from her after two decades of her presidentship.

The party constitution does not contemplate the CWC approval for the party chief’s election, but Sonia decided to get the approval of the party’s highest decision-making body on the insistence of Rahul, the party sources said.

Sonia was holding back the CWC meeting despite demand from many states to call it to elevate Rahul as the party president before the Gujarat Assembly elections.

She, however, decided to delay the meeting so as not to disturb Rahul engaged in the poll campaign. Sources said the poll schedule will be drawn in such a manner that his elevation comes only after the Gujarat polls.

The CWC is likely to fix 10 or 15 days for nomination, start of which will be fixed in such a manner that it does not clash with the Gujarat poll campaign, the party sources said.

Sonia will be, however, under pressure from the CWC members to let Rahul become the party president before the Gujarat polling on December 9 as that will give more credence to his campaign as the party chief, the sources said.

They said she resisted early election of Rahul for the same reason for which she may not agree to demand for getting him elected before the first round of polling on December 9.

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