New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign as Congress president during Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting here today over the party’s poor performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls was unanimously rejected by the senior party members, media reports said.
Addressing the media, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala read a statement issued by the CWC in which the party said that Rahul Gandhi was requested to continue at the helm “in these challenging times”.
“The Congress president offered to resign but CWC leaders unanimously refused to entertain it and requested him to lead the party in these challenging times. The CWC also requested the president for a complete overhaul and restructure of the party at every level,” the statement said.
“If anyone can lead the party, it is Rahul Gandhi”, said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad who was present at the press conference.
“In a democracy winning or losing keep happening but providing leadership is a different matter. He gave a leadership, one which is visible – maybe less on TV but very evident among public. We’ve accepted our defeat but it was a defeat of numbers and not ideology,” Azad said.
The grand old party won only 52 seats in this election. The number of seats is Congress’ second lowest tally history and is only marginally better than the 44 seats in 2014.
Rahul Gandhi took full responsibility for the defeat of the party in the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday in a press briefing and said the issue of his resignation was a matter between him and the Congress Working Committee.
The 48-year-old leader, who contested the elections from two Lok Sabha constituencies, lost from UP's Amethi and won from Kerala's Wayanad.
The CWC meeting was called by Gandhi to review the party’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections.