National

Sonia says 'My Job is to Retire' as Rahul set to takeover Congress reins

New Delhi: A day ahead of formally handing over the leadership of the Congress party to her son Rahul, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has indicated that she may retire from active politics. 

"My job is to retire," Sonia Gandhi told reporters on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament when asked about her role after Rahul Gandhi formally takes over as Congress President on Saturday. 

The Congress President is also the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), which includes members of both Houses of Parliament. Sonia's statement led to speculations that she might also hand over the leadership of the CPP to Rahul. 

The post was created by amending the Congress Constitution when Sonia took charge as the party president. The two leaders of the party in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha report to the CPP chairperson. 

In pre-Sonia setup, the CPP leader was the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, who was the Prime Minister if the Congress was in power, or leader of opposition otherwise.

During UPA, Pranab Mukherjee as cabinet minister remained Leader of the Lok Sabha for most part of the regime, and Manmohan Singh as PM was the Leader of the Rajya Sabha.

Sonia's statement also raised questions if she will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. She currently represents the Nehru-Gandhi bastion of Raebareli in the LS, a seat earlier held by her mother-in-law and former PM Indira Gandhi.

The twin seats of Amethi and Raebareli have been held by the Nehru-Gandhi family for most parts of the last five decades. Sonia's plan to call quits could also pave way for the formal entry of Priyanka Vadra into electoral politics.

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