Sonia, Rahul offer to resign, CWC rejects

Sonia, Rahul offer to resign, CWC rejects

Sonia, Rahul offer to resign, CWC rejects

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday offered to resign from their respective posts during the first meeting of the party’s Working Committee to take stock of the “disappointing” defeat.

The party blamed its humiliating performance in the Lok Sabha elections on communal polarisation, aggressive and expensive campaign launched by the BJP and the failure of the government and the party to communicate their achievements.

The Congress was reduced to just 44 seats after the 16th general elections. In the 15th Lok Sabha, the party had won 206 seats. “I believe I have not been able to bring about the necessary changes to strengthen the party. Therefore, I take full responsibility for this crushing defeat and I am prepared to relinquish my position,” Sonia said, concluding her talk. Rahul followed suit. 

However, their offer to resign was drowned in pleas by members to not relinquish their positions. A request was also made to the Congress president to re-constitute the party organisation at all levels as per her wish. 

“You will have to wait for the re-constitution (of the party organisation),” AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said when asked about changes in the Congress. The nearly two-hour meeting began with the address by Sonia Gandhi, followed by brief remarks by caretaker Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi.

 “As head of the government, I have to take responsibility, not you,” Singh is learnt to have told Gandhi soon after she made the offer to quit. “Both offered to resign, but the CWC rejected it,” senior CWC member Makhan Lal Fotedar told Deccan Herald.

Sources said almost one-third of the time of the meeting was taken up by members urging Sonia and Rahul not to go ahead with their resignations.

AICC general secretaries B K Hariprasad, Madhusudan Mistry, C P Joshi and Gurudas Kamat are understood to have offered to resign as well.  Several members said the party’s election campaign was weak and it failed to counter the BJP’s aggressive pitch in the Lok Sabha polls.