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Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2019

Rahul Gandhi quits as India opposition leader

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Rahul-Gandhi-PTI2-784x441NEW DELHI : Rahul Gandhi has resigned as leader of India’s main opposition Congress party, ending weeks of speculation. In his resignation letter, which he tweeted on Wednesday, he took responsibility for the party’s defeat in the recent general election.

He had already announced his intention to resign, but party leaders had hoped to change his mind. Mr Gandhi’s father, grandmother and great grandfather were all former prime ministers.

Rahul Gandhi officially quit his post saying accountability was critical to the future growth of the party. In a letter on Twitter, Gandhi said, “It is an honour for me to serve the Congress party, whose values and ideals have served as the lifeblood of our beautiful nation”.
Taking responsibility for the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi said, “Rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure of 2019. It would be unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as President of the party.”

He also explicitly stated in his letter that he will not be a member in the party’s search to find a new president. The party’s general secretary will assume charge till a full-time appointment is made. “Immediately after resigning, I suggested to my colleagues in the Congress Working Committee that the way forward would be to entrust a group of people with the task of beginning the search for a new President.”
Gandhi also raised doubts about the fairness of the recent Lok Sabha elections and claimed that ‘unimaginable levels of violence and pain for India’ was going to be the result of Narendra Modi government’s return to power.
“A free and fair election requires the neutrality of a country’s institutions; an election cannot be fair without arbiters…Nor can an election be free if one party has a complete monopoly on financial resources,” he wrote.
A few hours earlier, Gandhi had once again made it clear that he was no longer the Congress chief and asked the party to appoint a new president “at the earliest”. “The party should decide on the new president quickly without further delay, I am nowhere in this process. I have already submitted my resignation and I am no longer the party president. CWC should convene a meeting at the earliest and decide,” Gandhi told reporters in Parliament.

The Wayanad MP has been adamant about stepping down since May 25, two days after the Lok Sabha results, taking moral responsibility for the party’s disastrous performance. While the Congress has rejected his proposal, Gandhi has been adamant about his wish to quit.
Gandhi had said he took the decision to ensure accountability for the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle and there was no question of going back. “I have resigned after taking full responsibility and ensuring accountability for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. I cannot ask others to resign too. It is up to them if they want to take responsibility,” he had said.
In the letter he added that while he had no “hatred or anger” towards India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), “every living cell in my body instinctively resists their idea of India” which he said was based on differences and hatred.
e BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to victory in the election, winning a massive mandate.The scale of victory stunned the opposition and pundits, who were expecting a much closer race.

Mr Gandhi was also the face of Congress when it suffered its worst defeat in 2014, winning just 44 of India’s 543 seats. This year it did marginally better with 52 seats, but many still called it a “humiliating performance”.
Mr Gandhi also lost his own seat in his family constituency of Amethi in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, though he is still a MP because he won a second seat in the southern state of Kerala.

Rahul Gandhi, who took over as party chief from his mother Sonia Gandhi in 2017, had quit on May 25, days after the Congress ended up with just 52 of 543 Lok Sabha seats, pulverized once again by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP. But he made it official in his letter today, after which the designation of “President” also vanished from his Twitter bio.
According to party sources a new Congress president will be chosen “within a week” indicating growing acceptance in the ranks that Rahul Gandhi may not return as their chief. “Rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure of 2019,” he wrote, adding that it would be “unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as president of the party.”
The words indicate that a non-Gandhi may take charge of the grand old party that has mostly been headed by members of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in its 133-year history. (With Agency Inputs ).

 

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