Press Trust of india

Rahul formally quits as Congress pres

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New Delhi, Jul 3 (PTI) Asserting that he is no longer the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said in a letter that it had been an honour to serve the party whose values and ideals have served as the "lifeblood of this beautiful nation".

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 an open letter shared on Twitter.

Gandhi, who suggested that the Congress Working Committee be entrusted with the task of finding a new party president and it would not be correct for him to select his successor, also said he owes the country and his organisation a debt of tremendous gratitude and love.

He said he has at times felt "alone" in his fight against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS but is proud of it.

"Rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure of 2019. It would be unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as President of the party," he said.

One must shed power to defeat opponents, Gandhi, who has been firm on his decision to quit as party president, said.

"We will not defeat our opponents without sacrificing our desire for power," he said.

"The Congress must radically transform itself, it is the party's duty to defend people's voices that BJP is crushing.

"I was born a Congressman, this party has always been with me and is my life's blood and forever that way it shall remain," he said in his letter.

Many of his colleagues suggested he should nominate the next Congress president,

"While it is important for someone new to lead our party, it would not be correct for me to select that person," he noted.

The scion of the Gandhi family who led the party from December 2017 said his fight has never been a single battle for political power.

Rahul continues to be our leader: Congressmen

New Delhi, Jul 3:  Congress leaders on Wednesday said even though Rahul Gandhi had resigned as the party president, he continued to be their leader and would always be the "voice of the party's workers".

Asserting that he was no longer the Congress president, Gandhi on Wednesday said it had been an honour to serve the party, the values and ideals of which had served as the "lifeblood of this beautiful nation".

As the president of the Congress, he said he was responsible for the party's debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

"We request him to take back his resignation because we know his struggle," Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot said.

In a four-page letter shared on Twitter, Gandhi said accountability was critical for the future growth of the party.

"It is for this reason that I have resigned as Congress president," he said in the letter.

Gandhi, who suggested that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) be entrusted with the task of finding a new party president and it would not be correct for him to select his successor, also said he owed the country and his organisation a debt of tremendous gratitude and love.

"It is very sad to see him quit as he put in enormous effort and at one point, we felt he caught the pulse and we saw a return of the Congress. Even though he has quit as the Congress president, he continues to be our leader. Reluctantly we have to accept it. If he has announced it, his advice sadly has to be followed. We will put our heads together and do our best," former Union minister and senior party leader Salman Khurshid said.

Former Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said even after his resignation, Gandhi would remain the voice of the party's workers.

"We are proud to have @RahulGandhi ji as our leader! Congress President or not, he would always be the voice of millions of Congress workers and those who believe in its ideology! Rahul ji has taken a right decision-and we support him," he said in a tweet.

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