03 Jul 2019
I am no longer Congress President: Rahul Gandhi
Written byShalini Ojha
On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi reiterated his stand that he is no longer the president of Congress party and asked CWC members to choose his successor soon.
Taking responsibility for the defeat in Lok Sabha polls, Rahul said he would always remain a Congressman.
Since he resigned in May, Congress leaders have been employing different methods to convince Rahul to "stay".
Here's what happened.
After staggering poll defeat, Rahul resigned from top post
Rahul tendered his resignation on May 25 at the meeting of Congress Working Committee (CWC), which is the top-decision making body of the party.
His decision came two days after Congress faced a humiliating defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Congress shrunk to just 52 seats and Rahul lost his family bastion Amethi, to BJP's Smriti Irani. However, he won from Kerala's Wayanad.
Rahul resigned weeks ago, but Congress is still unsure
Rahul's resignation was unanimously rejected by CWC, with party leaders opining that only a Gandhi can lead Congress.
Despite Rahul telling many times that there has to be some accountability and he needs to leave the top post, Congress has been delaying his exit.
Perhaps, this behavior made Rahul angry prompting him to release a statement explaining why he has to leave.
Hard decisions need to be taken: Rahul
In a long statement, Rahul said it would be unfair to not hold him accountable for the rout. He stressed that Congress needs to be rebuilt and it requires hard decisions.
"Accountability is critical for the future growth of the party. It is for this reason that I resigned as Congress President," wrote Rahul.
He said serving Congress has been an honor for him.
Rahul claimed every institution came together against Congress
About 2019 elections, Rahul said Congress didn't fight as a "political party".
"Rather, we fought the entire machinery of the Indian state, every institution of which was marshaled against the opposition. It is now crystal clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India," said Rahul.
He added RSS achieved its goal of "capturing India's institutional structure".
Rahul clarified he isn't stepping back from the fight
"The attack on our country and our cherished Constitution that is taking place is designed to destroy fabric of our nation. In no way, shape or form am I stepping back from this fight. I am a loyal soldier of the Congress party," he added.
You can read his full statement here
Rahul Gandhi: As president of the Congress party, I'm responsible for the loss of the 2019 elections, accountability is critical for the future growth of our party. It is for this reason that I have resigned as Congress president. pic.twitter.com/igokkZpMLs— ANI (@ANI) July 3, 2019
Earlier, Congress CMs also met Rahul to convince him
Interestingly, Rahul's statement comes two days after chief ministers of Congress-governed states met him. The meeting was convened to discuss important matters like assembly polls, but CMs dedicated the maximum amount of time in convincing Rahul to stay.
They reminded him his "leadership" would solve the party's crisis.
Later, Rajasthan's Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said they are "positive" that he would reconsider his decision.
Party leaders also staged dharna, asking Rahul to stay
By deciding to resign, Rahul has, perhaps for the first time, shown he is self-aware. But Congress leaders, even the young ones, aren't ready to see it.
On Tuesday, almost 200 party functionaries, most of whom had resigned last week, staged a dharna at AICC headquarters urging Rahul to take back his resignation.
Later, Gehlot and senior leader Ahmed Patel joined their "agitation".
One Congress worker went as far as attempting suicide
Moreover, the drama surrounding Rahul's resignation touched new heights after a Congress worker attempted suicide. The worker, whom some leaders identified as Aneez, said he would hang himself from a rope if Rahul stays adamant.
Locals and cops foiled his suicide attempt.
Reportedly, the actions of Congress leaders have miffed Rahul and he wants to leave quietly. But will Congress let this happen?