The Congress on May 25 (Saturday) “unanimously and in one voice” rejected the resignation offered by party president Rahul Gandhi at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, and authorised him to restructure the party at every level.
Addressing a press conference after the CWC meeting, senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Gandhi offered his resignation during the meeting, which the committee members have rejected. However, reports suggest that Gandhi has refused to take his resignation back and insisted that the next party president must not be from the Gandhi family.
The meeting was convened to review the massive defeat of the Congress in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. It was attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other leaders including Priyanka Gandhi, P Chidambaram, Ashok Gehlot and Mallikarjun Kharge.
“The CWC has recommended the party president to undertake a thorough introspection (for the defeat) and requested his leadership and guidance during these challenging times,” Surjewala said.
“The CWC fully recognises the challenges, failures and shortcomings resulting into this mandate and requested the Congress president for a complete overall and detailed restructuring at every level of the party,” added senior leader KC Venugopal. He further said that the party has noted several issues, like hike in oil prices after Iran sanctions and issues related to the banking and agrarian sectors, which he added must be addressed by the next government.
The press conference was also attended by two other senior leaders – AK Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad. “I’ve seen a lot of resignations in the last four decades. But this was the first time I saw such an unanimity where every member of the CWC, across all age groups, told Gandhi that they accept his leadership,” Azad said.
Meanwhile, Congress’ Maharashtra unit chief Ashok Chavan said the massive defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls was a “collective responsibility” and not that of Rahul Gandhi alone.
“All senior leaders in states who hold positions in the state units should quit, so that a new team can take over. My colleagues and I are ready to resign due to the poor show of the Congress in Maharashtra,” he asserted.