Rahul Gandhi quits as Congress president, says accountability crucial for growth of party


New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference at the party headquarter in New Delhi, Friday, May 17, 2019. (PTI Photo)

File photo: Congress President Rahul Gandhi  (PTI Photo)

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he is no longer Congress president and the party’s working committee should meet immediately to decide on his successor.

Rahul Gandhi told reporters he has already resigned and the Congress Working Committee should make the appointment soon.

Rahul Gandhi in a letter said that it had been an honour to serve the party whose values and ideals have served as the “lifeblood of this beautiful nation”.

As president of the Congress, he said he is responsible for the loss of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

“Accountability is critical for the future growth of our party. It is for this reason that I have resigned as Congress president,” he said in an open letter shared on Twitter.

Gandhi, who suggested that the Congress Working Committee be entrusted with the task of finding a new party president and it would not be correct for him to select his successor, also said he owes the country and his organisation a debt of tremendous gratitude and love.

He said he has at times felt “alone” in his fight against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS but is proud of it.

“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 said.

One must shed power to defeat opponents, Gandhi, who has been firm on his decision to quit as party president, said.

“We will not defeat our opponents without sacrificing our desire for power,” he said.

“I was born a Congressman, this party has always been with me and is my life’s blood and forever that way it shall remain,” he said in his letter.

Many of his colleagues suggested he should nominate the next Congress president,

“While it is important for someone new to lead our party, it would not be correct for me to select that person,” he noted.

The scion of the Gandhi family who led the party from December 2017 said his fight has never been a single battle for political power.