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March 14, 1998: Sonia Gandhi takes over as Congress president

Reluctant Sitaram Kesri replaced in swift though controversial decision by the Congress Working Committee

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Sonia Gandhi wife of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, takes over as president of Indian National Congress party.
Gulf News

1998 - Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, took over as president of the Indian National Congress following a swift though controversial decision by the Congress Working Committee to replace a reluctant Sitaram Kesri. The CWC resolution appointing Sonia “with immediate effect” stated that since Kesri had publicly announced his decision to quit as party president in favour of Sonia Gandhi all organisational work had come to a standstill. Kesri’s subsequent reluctance to resign, it added, was causing irreparable and immense harm to the party. A furious Kesri, who stormed out of the CWC meeting, later told journalists at his residence that there was no doubt about the fact that the CWC had no powers to remove him in the manner in which it did.

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