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Rahul Gandhi firm on quitting as Congress chief

May 28, 2019

Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi is reportedly firm about quitting his post as party head. His first tweet after he told the Congress he wants to quit over the party's poor national election performance has further added to the speculation about his future plans.

His tweet was on the occasion of the death anniversary of his great-grandfather and former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Many democratic nations as young as India, soon degenerated into dictatorships. On his death anniversary, let us remember Jawaharlal Nehru Ji's contribution in building strong, independent, modern institutions, that have helped democracy survive in India for over 70 years. - Rahul Gandhi, Congress party chief

However, his Twitter bio still says "President, Indian National Congress" three days after he told the Congress' top decision-making body that he wanted to resign. This is being seen by many as a sign that he has relented on his position.

Sources say that Rahul Gandhi is determined to quit as president but will not abandon his post. He will give the Congress time to choose a new person for the top job. His mother Sonia Gandhi>/strong> and sister apparently support his decision. While they initially tried to change his mind, they now feel there is a need for a change of guard.

Many Congress leaders have tried to change his mind and suggested a complete overhaul. Officially the party has rejected his decision. At a meeting of the Congress Working Committee over the weekend, Rahul Gandhi, who has been blamed for the party's campaign, spoke strongly to party leaders, saying they had put their sons before the party and pushed for their sons to be nominated as candidates in the Lok Sabha polls.

While he did not name anyone, many sons and daughters of senior Congress leaders lost the elections like Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav Gehlot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, son of the late Madhavrao Scindia, Manvendra Singh, son of former BJP Union minister Jaswant Singh, and Sushmita Dev, daughter of former minister Santosh Mohan Dev.

Gandhi has said he will keep working for the party but that the president should be from Gandhi family. When his sister's name was suggested, he was clear he did not want her to be dragged into it.

The Congress is out of power in 17 states, including Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the states it won in December. It also failed in Karnataka, where it is in an alliance government. The only state it has held onto since 2017 is Punjab.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Congress chief Ajoy Kumar resigned from his post on Monday taking 'moral responsibility' for party's poor performance in the elections. The chief of the Uttar Pradesh unit Raj Babbar also resigned, taking responsibility for the poor show. "The results are depressing for the Uttar Pradesh Congress. I find myself guilty of not discharging my responsibility in a proper manner. I will meet the leadership and apprise it of my views, tweeted Babbar.

Yogendra Mishra, President, District Congress Committee- Amethi has also resigned.

Among others to quit are state chiefs of Odisha and Karnataka. "It is time for all of us to introspect. I feel it my moral duty to own up the responsibility, hence, I submit my resignation from the post", said Karnataka Congress Campaign Committee President HK Patil.

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