Rahul Gandhi on Thursday stuck to his decision to resign as Congress president, saying he did it to ensure accountability for the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle and there was no question of going back on it. He made the comments during a meeting with leaders from Haryana state coordination committee who urged him to continue to lead the party and take back his resignation.
“I have resigned after taking full responsibility and ensuring accountability for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. I cannot ask others to resign too. It is up to them if they want to take responsibility,” he told the leaders.
He added there was no question of going back on his decision.
The Congress did not win a single Lok Sabha seat out of 10 in Haryana. Ashok Tanwar continues to be the state Congress chief and has not quit despite his tenure coming to an end.
Asked about the party’s strategy for upcoming assembly elections, Gandhi plainly told the leaders to discuss it among themselves, leaving the state unit in the lurch.
The leaders later said they spoke to Gandhi separately and hoped the party would take a decision on the state leadership soon. Haryana goes to polls later this year.
Those present during the meeting, which remained inconclusive, were Congress general secretary in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Tanwar.
Haryana CLP leader Kiran Choudhry, party MLA and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and Kuldeep Bishnoi were among the prominent absentees at the meeting.
Gandhi, in the presence of UPA chairperson and his mother Sonia Gandhi, had on Wednesday told his party’s Lok Sabha members that he was no longer the Congress president as he had resigned.
He had said it was up to the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, to decide on selecting the new president.
When some MPs told him that leaders would start resigning, Gandhi said, “If someone wants to leave the party, they are free to do so today instead of tomorrow. I am here and would continue to be in the party and work for the Congress.”
“I have become a Congress fanatic and (will) continue to fight the RSS. If others want to be with him (Rahul), they are welcome,” he told the MPs on Wednesday.