M A I N   N E W S

Sonia, Rahul offer to quit Cong posts
CWC says no, party set for revamp
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
A rush for resignations was witnessed at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting today soon after party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi offered to quit from their positions owning responsibility for party's historic defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

The party's highest decision-making body, which met in Delhi, however, rejected their offer to quit. All 38 members in attendance disallowed a discussion on the issue.

Leading the race for accountability, the Gandhis set the tone for party's organisational revamp with indications that non-performing general secretaries, state party chiefs and chief ministers may be dropped in the coming days. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the blame for government's communication failures and told Sonia that quitting was not a solution. He said if RSS-backed BJP was dangerous for the country, a weak Opposition was even more dangerous, which is why the party must strengthen itself.

The chant of "collective responsibility" followed, prompting all general secretaries to offer their resignations to Sonia.

While Sonia offered to resign saying she had failed to bring the changes necessary to strengthen the party, Rahul lamented "lack of desired accountability" in the Congress.

The most important takeaway from the CWC meeting was the party's subtle reiteration that Sonia, not Rahul, was their unquestioned leader.

Though none of Rahul's handpicked general secretaries was questioned for non-performance today, the CWC through its resolution made its mind clear by saying: "We authorise Congress president to take whatever steps necessary to revamp the organisation at all levels".

Quitting no solution: PM

During the CWC meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said quitting was not a solution to the problem. “It was in the hour of crisis that the Congress needed Sonia and Rahul’s leadership the most,” he said.





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