As the Congress Working Committee began consultations on Saturday to find its next president, UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and outgoing party head Rahul Gandhi left the meeting midway, saying they couldn't be part of the process.
"We cannot be part of this process," Sonia Gandhi said after she recused herself from the deliberations.
Rahul Gandhi left soon after, saying he would be visiting his parliamentary constituency Wayanad in Kerala, which is currently ravaged by heavy rains.
Sonia Gandhi said her name was included by default in the region-wise committees formed for wider consultations on selecting a new party chief.
The CWC has decided to have consultations with leaders from across the country and the party's top decision-making body then was divided into five groups for different regions -- northeast, east, north, west and south.
Rahul Gandhi, while resigning as the party president on May 25, had asked the CWC to elect a president from outside his family. His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is a Congress general secretary.
While leaving the CWC meeting, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary said, "We will meet again at 8.30 pm, it (name of new party chief) is expected to be finalized by 9 pm today itself."