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Posted at: May 25, 2019, 11:35 AM; last updated: May 25, 2019, 5:56 PM (IST)

CWC rejects Rahul's offer to quit; authorises him to restructure Congress

CWC rejects Rahul's offer to quit; authorises him to restructure Congress
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 25

Congress Working Committee “unanimously” refused to accept Congress president Rahul Gandhi's resignation over the party's loss in the general elections, a party spokesperson said on Saturday.

The meeting deliberated on the reasons behind the Congress's defeat in the elections for four long hours with various leaders urging Rahul Gandhi to continue to provide leadership to the party.

"Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his address to the CWC offered his resignation as the party president. The CWC unanimously and with one voice rejected the same and requested the Congress President for his leadership and guidance in these challenging times," said the resolution passed by CWC.

 

The CWC called upon the Rahul Gandhi to lead the party in its ideological battle and to champion the cause of India's youth, the farmers, the SC, ST, OBCs, the minorities, the poor and the deprived sections, it said.

The party ended up with 52 seats in the general elections—only eight more that it won in 2014.  

The Congress Working Committee met here for four hours to introspect over the Lok Sabha 2019 poll loss and passed a unanimous resolution authorising Congress president Rahul Gandhi to restructure the party at all levels to revive it to fulfil the aspirations of people.

The Congress denied the offer of resignation by Gandhi, with top CWC sources indicating to The Tribune that the committee passed a resolution tasking Gandhi to restructure the party even before he began addressing the meeting.

This resolution was moved by former leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and unanimously passed by the CWC. In a sense, therefore, the CWC preempted any move by Gandhi to make an offer of resignation.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his remarks suggested constitution of a committee to go into causes of loss and suggest corrective measures quite on the lines of the AK Antony Committee set up after the 2014 loss of the Congress.

Rahul Gandhi in his address said the battle was no longer of ideologies but of ideas, which the BJP invented speedily.

Gandhi admitted the Congress narrative was not accepted by the people and said the party would have to look at the ‘New India’ and acknowledge that the aspirational India needed new narratives.

Gandhi said the BJP changed its election time ideas fast to gain poll advantage, something the Congress would need to see.

It’s learnt that several leaders raised concerns at the meeting of EVM tampering with both Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad speaking about the issue.

Azad is learnt to have said in the meeting, “We lost to EVMs and not to the BJP.”

Many leaders, however, sought to deflect the EVM issue, with Jyotiraditya Scindia saying the Congress must accept its defeat and introspect.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh also spoke of EVMs and said why can’t the machines be replaced with paper ballots when most advanced countries have done so.

A committee to go into causes of losses may soon be formed.

In 2014, then president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi had offered their resignations which the CWC rejected. Even in 2014, the CWC resolution had authorised Sonia Gandhi to restructure the party at all levels.

Today’s CWC said almost the same thing. With PTI inputs

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