Days after Rahul Gandhi made public his decision to resign from the post of Congress President, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday urged the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to pick a “dynamic young leader” to replace Gandhi.
Terming Rahul Gandhi’s decision as “unfortunate”, Singh said he hoped to see another dynamic youth leader as Congress president to galvanise party.
He further urged the CWC to take note of young India’s need for a young leader, aligned to the aspirations of a large youth population, and with grassroots connect.
Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday went public with a formal assertion that he has resigned as the Congress president, taking responsibility for the party’s decimation in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
“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,” Gandhi said in a four-page open letter posted on his social media accounts.
He made it clear that he had stepped down from his post at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held on 25 May — two days after the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls — when the CWC had met to take stock of the party’s crushing defeat at the hands of the Narendra Modi-led BJP. The CWC had then rejected Gandhi’s resignation and authorised him to initiate sweeping changes in the party in order to overhaul and restructure it across the board.
“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. I have empowered them to do so and committed my full support to this process and a smooth transition,” Gandhi stated in his letter.
Earlier on Wednesday, Gandhi told reporters that he was no longer Congress chief and that the CWC should meet immediately to decide on the selection of his successor. Hours later, he made it public through his open letter.
“It is an honour for me to serve the Congress party, whose values and ideals have served as the lifeblood of our beautiful nation. I owe the country and my organisation a debt of tremendous gratitude and love,” he stated in his letter.
“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.”
Soon after Rahul Gandhi said that he was no longer the Congress chief, party leaders said he would continue as the party President till the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meets and accepts his resignation.
Rahul Gandhi has been adamant to resign from the post of Congress President since the party faced a drubbing in the recently held Lok Sabha elections in which the party could win only 52 seats, only 8 more than its 2014 tally.
Gandhi himself was defeated by BJP’s Smriti Irani in family stronghold Amethi.
A day after he resigned, his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she “respected his decision” adding that only a “few have the courage to do something like that”.