The Congress Party in Parliament on Saturday elected Sonia Gandhi its leader at a meeting in the Central Hall of Parliament.
West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Pranab Mukherjee proposed her name at the meeting convened by former Union finance minister Manmohan Singh in Gandhi's absence.
The Congress president herself was late in reaching the venue, and was not present when her name was proposed, seconded and approved.
The decision was announced by Manmohan Singh barely a couple of minutes after Mukherjee made the proposal.
Soon after Gandhi herself reached the venue amid loud cheers of 'Sonia Gandhi zindabad' from the crowds assembled outside as well as the newly elected MPs.
Among the Congress MPs at the meeting was the lone representative from Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi, who arrived in a wheelchair from hospital.