Sonia re-elected Congress president for record fourth time

     Sonia Gandhi has been re-elected Congress party chief unopposed for a record fourth time on Friday. Gandhi has created a record for the longest tenure as Congress chief by leading the party since April 1998 when she replaced the late Sitaram Kesri. Her name was announced at a ceremony at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on Friday. She had to contest election for party chief post only once when senior leader Jitendra Prasada decide to contest against her a decade back, but was defeated by her. Addressing the party workers after her re-election, Sonia said: "It's a great responsibility and I thank all Congress workers. Whether we are in power or not we should always work for the oppressed." The process of re-electing Sonia Gandhi as Congress President was set in motion with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi proposing her name for the top post along with a host of other party leaders. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda proposed the name of Gandhi, 63, along with the other Congress leaders. Sonia Gandhi's nomination was later submitted to chairman of the party''s Central Election Authority, Oscar Fernandes, who is the returning officer for the poll. The election process was set in motion last week with the issue of the notification. Earlier, the Congress party reacting to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad's remarks, said Sonia Gandhi can become the party chief as many as 40 times. Prasad had demanded that Sonia Gandhi should offer the position of Congress president to someone from outside the Gandhi family. "We do not discuss the constitution of another party. Why four times she (Gandhi) could be the party president 40 times if the party wants," said AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi. "This democracy has seen that Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister for 17 long years and almost similar was the case with Indira Gandhi. Since, other people do not get a chance they talk about it," he added, hitting out at Prasad.

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