New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi officially quit his post on Wednesday, saying accountability was critical to the future growth of the party.
In a letter on Twitter, Gandhi said, “It is an honour for me to serve the Congress party, whose values and ideals have served as the lifeblood of our beautiful nation”. Taking responsibility for the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi said, “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.”
He also explicitly stated in his letter that he will not be a member in the party's search to find a new president. The party’s general secretary will assume charge till a full-time appointment is made. "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."
Gandhi also raised doubts about the fairness of the recent Lok Sabha elections and claimed that 'unimaginable levels of violence and pain for India' was going to be the result of Narendra Modi government's return to power.
“A free and fair election requires the neutrality of a country's institutions; an election cannot be fair without arbiters...Nor can an election be free if one party has a complete monopoly on financial resources,” he wrote.
A few hours earlier, Gandhi had once again made it clear that he was no longer the Congress chief and asked the party to appoint a new president “at the earliest”. “The party should decide on the new president quickly without further delay, I am nowhere in this process. I have already submitted my resignation and I am no longer the party president. CWC should convene a meeting at the earliest and decide,” Gandhi told reporters in Parliament.
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.Jai Hind 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/WWGYt5YG4V— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 3, 2019
The Wayanad MP has been adamant about stepping down since May 25, two days after the Lok Sabha results, taking moral responsibility for the party’s disastrous performance. Several pleas by Congress leaders to Gandhi to continue in his position have fallen on deaf ears.
Gandhi had said he took the decision to ensure accountability for the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle and there was no question of going back. “I have resigned after taking full responsibility and ensuring accountability for the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. I cannot ask others to resign too. It is up to them if they want to take responsibility," he had said.
Gandhi met Congress chief ministers on Monday to not only discuss his decision to quit but also brainstorm over the dismal performance of the grand old party in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, especially in the Hindi heartland states where it won three assembly elections last December. However, no consensus was reached.
Before the meeting, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had tweeted that the party “firmly believes only he [Rahul Gandhi] can lead the party in the current scenario, his commitment towards well being of our country and countrymen is un-compromised and unmatched”.