New Delhi: Putting to rest all speculations, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday formally announced his resignation as Congress president, taking moral responsibility for the party’s poor show in the general elections.
“I am no longer the party chief,” news agency ANI quoted Rahul as saying outside Parliament. “I have already submitted my resignation,” he added.
The 49-year scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family said the party should take a decision about the new president without further delay and that he was nowhere in the process.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party, should call a meeting at the earliest to decide the new leader, he said.
Some media reports suggested that veteran party leader Moti Lal Vohra has been made the acting party president till a new president is elected.
On May 25, Rahul had tendered his resignation, but reports suggested the CWC had refused to accept it.
Soon after making his statement on Wednesday, Rahul posted a letter on his official Twitter handle, stating that he had stepped down as “accountability” was critical for the future of Congress. He also took on the ruling BJP government and its ideological mentor RSS, accusing them of breaking the country’s institutional structure and weakening democracy.
The dramatic development capped weeks of speculation on Rahul’s stand on stepping down. Reports had suggested that senior party leaders, including chief ministers of Congress ruled states had reached out to him to hold on to the post, but Rahul remained adamant.
As early as on Tuesday, one of the emotional party workers had allegedly tried to commit suicide in front of the party headquarters in Akbar Road, New Delhi protesting Rahul’s resignation bid, but his attempt was thwarted by the police.
Excerpts from Rahul’s letter:
*Rebuilding the party requires hard decision and numerous people will be made accountable for the failure of 2019.
*Immediately after resigning, I suggested to my colleagues in the CWC to entrust a group of people to search for a new president. I have empowered them to do so and committed my full support to this process of a smooth transition.
*The attack on our country and our cherished constitution that is taking place is designed to destroy the fabric of our nation. In no way, shape or form, am I stepping back from this fight.
*I personally fought the Prime Minister, the RSS and the institutions they have captured with all my being. At times I stood completely alone and am completely proud of it.
*The stated objective of the RSS, the capture of our country’s institution structure is now complete. There is a real danger that from now on, elections will go from being a determinant of India’s future to a mere ritual.
*This capture of power will result in unimaginable levels of violence and pain for India. Farmers, unemployed youngsters, women, tribals, Dalits and minorities are going to suffer the most. The impact on our economy and nation’s reputation will be devastation.