Rahul Gandhi takes back offer to resign
New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi on Sunday took back his offer to quit as the Congress President, a proposal he made during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Saturday following the party's rout in the Lok Sabha elections, party sources said.
A party source said: "Rahulji has taken back his proposal to resign as the party chief today." The source added that responsibility will be fixed for the party's debacle in the general elections and action will unfold in the next 10 days. Many party General Secretaries and state unit chiefs could face the heat, the source said.
Gandhi offered to step down from the President's post at the CWC meeting, taking responsibility for Congress' embarrassing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls in which it won just 52 seats. However, his offer was unanimously rejected by the CWC members though Gandhi had insisted on its acceptance.
Party sources said Gandhi took back the offer to resign in the wake of the views expressed by the CWC members who wanted him to remain at the helm of the country's oldest political party.
The CWC has authorised Gandhi to make complete overhaul and detailed restructuring of the party at every level. According to the source, the Congress President was quite forthright at the CWC meeting, not sparing even some senior leaders of the party.
Gandhi is believed to have said that Congress Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath were eager to give ticket to their sons although the party President was not very keen on the idea as he felt that they had a bigger role to play in campaigning.
While Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's son Nakul Nath successfully contested from his father's stronghold Chhindwara, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav Gehlot tasted defeat in Jodhpur.
Gandhi said that Ashok Gehlot campaigned in Jodhpur for a week, ignoring the other tasks of the party. The source said that Gandhi also referred to veteran Congressman and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for pushing for a Lok Sabha ticket for his son Karti Chidambaram from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu.
Karti Chidambaram is one of the eight Congress candidates who won in Tamil Nadu. The Congress President reportedly told the CWC that these senior leaders had put the interests of their sons before the interests of the party.
Gandhi is learnt to have said that Chidambaram was even willing to walk out of the party if his son was denied a Lok Sabha ticket.