Crucial session of Congress to discuss LS polls has begun in New Delhi. No suspense over Rahul Gandhi. Party to formalise his role today.
No big surprises expected today. The CWC has already decided not to name Rahul Gandhi as its PM candidate. Focus likely on strategy.
Now - Watch CNN-IBN special show anchored by Bhupendra Chaubey on the Congress meet.
According to CNN-IBN's Pallavi Ghosh, Congress workers are very disappointed over Rahul Gandhi not being named as the PM candidate.
Even after Sonia Gandhi decided not to name Rahul Gandhi as the PM nominee of the party, clamour for him is growing.
Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Sing Lovely to CNN-IBN - We are not disappointed. We will fight elections under Rahul Gandhi. We have never had a tradition of announcing a PM nominee.
Have my sympathies with the BJP. There are too many people waiting to be PMs in their party.
Congress is looking for new allies. But, many former partners don't want to come back. Some are bargaining hard.
Posters of smiling Priyanka Gandhi have adorned the walls outside Tal Katora Stadium, where the Congress session is taking place. Party workers hope that she will play a bigger role this time.
Congress session has just begun. The sad news of the death of veteran actress Suchitra Sen comes from Kolkata. She was 83.
Congress workers from across the country are disappointed. They were hoping that Rahul Gandhi would be named as its PM candidate.
Congress leader Annu Tandon - We have never announced the PM candidate. We can work under both Rahul and Sonia. Not scared of the BJP.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likely to speak around 10-30 AM. PM will speak after that. Rahul Gandhi is likely to speak in the afternoon.
Each state unit will be given a chance to speak at the session.
Most of the speakers are expected to demand the party to name Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate.
Youth Congress to demand rethink and ask for Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate of the party.
Tentative schedule - Sonia Gandhi to speak around 10.30 AM.
Resolution to be moved after that. PM to speak around 12 o'clock. Rahul Gandhi to speak around 3 PM. Sonia Gandhi to conclude the session later.
Perhaps for the first time in the last 15 years the ruling party is staring at a bleak future. It has left with no allies in most states. No allies in Tamil Nadu, one of the most important swing states. It is almost dead in Seemandhra with 25 MPs. Only, if Telangana created, it can hope to win some in Telangana. In Karnataka, it is facing a tough challenge from the BJP led by B S Yeddyurappa.
In Maharashtra, the MNS of Raj Thackeray may decide the outcome. BJP is desperate for him. He can be a kingmaker in Maharashtra.
Congress is badly beaten by the BJP in Central and Western part of India.
In and around Delhi, it is facing the AAP.
In the most crucial states of UP and Bihar, which contribute 120 MPs together, Congress is very weak. Can it go with Lalu Yadav's RJD once again?
In West Bengal, the Congress has to choose between TMC and the Left front. Will TMC agree?
Everybody is waiting for Sonia Gandhi's speech. Will she say something about a possible grand alliance? Is it possible?
Now - Watch a special broadcast on the Congress session anchored by Sagarika Ghose on CNN-IBN.
Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar clarifies that he never said that the party should sit in the opposition.
Rahul Gandhi without his usual stubble is standing next to Home Minister S K Shinde.
AICC president Sonia Gandhi is hoisting the party flag.
All Congress leaders are singing the national anthem. PM Manmohan Singh is standing in the front row.
Former CM of Delhi Sheila Dixit speaks after a long time. Says everyone in the party wants Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate.
Sonia Gandhi greets party leaders from across India.
Task cutout - Try to make new friends, lesser enemies.
Sonia Gandhi has entered the meeting hall, indoor stadium. All leaders are seated.
For a change, most Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi are wearing Gandhi caps!
Sonia Gandhi to speak in 10 minutes.
Sonia Gandhi is being garlanded by the party leaders. Rahul Gandhi and the PM also share the honour.
Delhi Congress president Avinder Singh Lovely is speaking.
Political analysts feel that anything is possible. They don't want to rule out the possibility of a U turn.
Can Sonia Gandhi's speech galvainise the demoralised Congress? Everyone is asking the same question.
Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely "we lost Delhi assembly polls. We are determined to bounce back. We will put up a strong fight".
Youth Congress workers shout slogans. Say Rahul Gandhi should be made PM candidate.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is addressing the session.
Sonia Gandhi - We have taken the decision against not naming Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate. It is final. Appeals to party workers.
Youth Congress workers are still shouting slogans. Sonia Gandhi says Congress is battle ready.
Sonia Gandhi "We reflect what we stand for".
Sonia Gandhi "Congress has faced many difficulties in the past. We never lost heart. Never lost hope".