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Rahul Gandhi quits as Congress President

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 03, 2019 Published on July 03, 2019

Congress President Rahul Gandhi   -  Bloomberg

Urges party to find successor

At the receiving end of fervent appeals to stay on, with a worker even attempting suicide to this end, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday publicly underlined his resolve to quit and released the letter he had written to the Congress Working Committee accepting responsibility for the party’s defeat in the just-concluded general elections.

The Wayanad MP told reporters that he has urged the CWC to select his successor at the earliest. Discussions are reportedly veering around Sushil Kumar Shinde and Mallikarjun Kharge as frontrunners for the post. The CWC is likely to meet soon to elect the president, which will have to be ratified by a session of the All India Congress Committee.

Gandhi, meanwhile, told reporters that there is no question of him continuing any longer than it is absolutely necessary.

“I am no longer the Congress president. I have already resigned. The CWC should convene a meeting immediately and decide on the new Congress president,” he said.

In the four-page letter released to the media through Twitter, Gandhi said it is essential to fix accountability for the losses suffered by the Congress under his leadership.

“As President of the Congress Party, I am responsible for the loss of the 2019 election. Accountability is critical for the future growth of our party. It is for this reason that I have resigned as Congress President,” he said in the letter. He said rebuilding the Congress 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 said.

He also ruled out the suggestion that the next Congress President should be his nominee. He said in the letter that the party will make the best decision regarding who can lead it with courage, love and fidelity.

The idea of India

Gandhi urged the party to transform radically to fight the Sangh Parivar. “I have no hatred or anger towards the BJP but every living cell in my body instinctively resists their idea of India. This resistance arises because my being is permeated with an Indian idea that is and has always been in direct conflict with theirs. This is not a new battle; it has been waged on our soil for thousands of years. Where they see differences, I see similarity. Where they see hatred, I see love. What they fear, I embrace,” he said.

He maintained that his fight has never been a simple battle for political power. He said an election will not be free if one party has a complete monopoly on financial resources.

“It is now crystal clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India. The stated objective of the RSS, — the capture of our country’s institutional structure -- is now complete. Our democracy has been fundamentally weakened. There is a real danger that from now on, elections will go from being a determinant of India’s future to a mere ritual,” the Wayanad MP said

Published on July 03, 2019
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