It should be noted that Rahul Gandhi has made it clear that no one from Gandhi family will take the job as Congress chief, which virtually rules out Priyanka Gandhi’s role. (File photo)
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has broken silence on her brother Rahul AGndhi’s formal resignation as Congress chief. Priyanka took to Twitter and lauded her brother in a simple-yet-emotional tweet. “Few have the courage that you do @rahulgandhi. Deepest respect for your decision,” Priyanka tweeted while tagging her brother. In a letter that ran into four pages put out on micro-blogging site, Rahul Gandhi said that, “I personally fought the Prime Minister, the RSS and the institutions they have captured with all my being. I fought because I love India. And I fought to defend the ideals India was built upon. At times, I stood completely alone and am extremely proud of it.”
This is not the first time that Priyanka has supported her brother. On May 25, when Rahul Gandhi had offered to resign during high-profile Congress Working Committee, Priyanka had backed him and slammed the Congress top leadership for leaving him alone in battle against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is exactly what Rahul Gandhi wrote in his resignation letter. 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 the open letter posted on Twitter. There are unconfirmed reports that Motilal Vora is likely to be made the interim party chief till Congress finalises Rahul Gandhi’s successor.
On May 25, two days after the humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha Elections, Gandhi had quit as Congress chief during the all-important CWC meet. At that time, Congress top leadership had said that Gandhi’s resignation is not needed. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Dr Manmohan Singh were among those who spoke to Rahul Gandhi. At that time, Congress’ national spokesperson Sanjay Jha had said that there was no need for the Congress chief to quit. "I don’t think Rahul Gandhi has been more established, popular, loved and respected within Congress then he is today," Jha had said during a television debate.
Although the Congress did better than its 2014 performance (44 seats) and won 8 more seats, the party could not open its account in several states and Union Territories. The party didn't win a single seat in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman Diu and Lakshadweep.
The biggest embarrasment came from Uttar Pradesh where the Congress chief himself lost the traditional Amethi seat to Union Minister Smriti Irani by a margin of over 55,000 votes. During a press confernece post the Lok Sabha elections results, Rahul Gandhi had taken the full responsibility of the party's brute poll drubbing.
Reduced to just 52 seats in the Lok Sabha, the present situation of the Congress is far cry from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. While Nehru led Congress into victory in three General Elections of 1951, 1957 and 1962, Indira too secured back to back victory in 1967 and 1971. She against led the party to a victory in 1980 elections.