The decision was taken after day long deliberations and speculations, as the Congress Working Committee (CWC) met to choose a new party president.
Patra also underlined that Sonia coming to the rescue of the party proves that "Rahul Gandhi was a blunder as far as Congress is concerned".
"Congress Working Committee (CWC) unanimously resolved to request Sonia Gandhi to take over as the Interim President, pending the election of a regular president by the AICC", said KC Venugopal.
The name will be finalised on Sunday after all the five groups have submitted their recommendations, said a senior party leader.
Another Punjab party leader, Pratap Singh Bajwa, told the CWC that if any non-Gandhi comes to occupy top post, "then many senior leaders will leave the party and join other parties".
After Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in May, 1991, she shunned active politics, but after repeated cajoling by Congress leaders took the primary membership of the Congress in 1997.
The CWC also put on record "its profound sense of appreciation and gratitude for the exceptional leadership provided by Rahul Gandhi as president".
Earlier, the CWC decided that Rahul Gandhi "should continue as Congress President, as desired by all who were consulted today, and requested him to accept this decision".
However, political pundits opine that the interim Congress president might give priority on the party reorganisation in States which are going for polls in near future.
The CWC has been divided into five region-wise groups to hold talks with the state in-charges, state chiefs, AICC department chairman, party MPs and build a consensus on the name of the new party chief. Whenever there is peace in the country, we see Rahul Gandhi is not happy. The CWC did not discuss the issue, sources said.
"On his resignation, owning up responsibility for the party's poor showing in the elections, it said that it was evidence of Rahul's "instinctive moral compass" setting new standards of accountability in public life".
The Congress should choose a leader through a democratic process, Shivraj Chouhan said. Her first challenge will be Assembly elections in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Haryana due in November.