Sonia and Rahul Chair Congress’ Election Post-Mortem
NEW DELHI : Dressed in a white kurta and jeans, Rahul Gandhi is seated next to his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi as the party’s top leaders post-mortem their colossal electoral defeat. There are reports that the Gandhis will offer to step down at the Congress Working Committee meeting – but their resignation would almost certainly be rejected by colleagues. Party sources say some 40 members who are part of the highest decision-making body could quit in a gesture of “collective responsibility.”
Kamal Nath, the most senior Congress parliamentarian, told NDTV on Sunday that only internal democracy could end “the culture of patronage” and elections must be held to select the Working Committee.As the meeting began, a group of youth Congress workers outside the venue shouted pro-Rahul slogans.
But the party has little to cheer for. The Congress has won just 44 seats in the 543-member Parliament, as the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, swept to power with the first majority in 30 years.
While accepting responsibility on Friday for what he described as the Congress doing “pretty badly”, Mr Gandhi’s smile baffled many.The role of his key advisers including Jairam Ramesh may be faulted at the CWC meeting.
The Congress defeat has been attributed to a sharp economic slowdown, rising food prices and a slew of corruption scandals, as well as Mr Gandhi, 43, being comprehensively overshadowed by BJP leader Narendra Modi. (Gandhis Must Surrender Congress Leadership: Foreign Media)
The BJP leader assailed the dynastic rule of the Gandhis and tapped into widespread hunger for jobs and development, while offering a message of aspiration and ambition to the young electorate.