Sonia set to be Cong chief for fourth term

The election for the party’s top post is likely to be an uncontested affair. The last date for filing nominations for the poll is September 2 and on that day itself it will be clear whether the 63-year-old leader is going to be elected unopposed or not.

Top party leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi are supposed to submit their proposals for Sonia’s re-nomination.

Sonia, who is also the UPA chairperson, was the brain behind ensuring power for the Congress via the coalition route. She led a Congress-led alliance to victory in 2004 after eight long years of political wilderness for the party.

This was the first experiment where the Congress shared power at the Centre and it has also entered into a second term in power in coalition after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Sonia has created a record of having served the longest tenure as Congress chief by steering the party since April 1998 when she replaced the late Sitaram Kesri. Only once she had to contest with senior leader Jitendra Prasada, whom she defeated.

As per the election schedule finalised recently at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, scrutiny of nominations will be held on September 3, last date of withdrawal is September 10, and the date of poll, if necessary, is September 17.

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