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Priyanka Gandhi praises brother over decision

July 5, 2019

Rahul Gandhi's decision to step down as president of the Congress party taking full responsibility for the party's national election defeat, was praised by sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi posted a long letter making public his decision to quit saying "accountability is critical" for the future growth of the Congress.

In a tweet, his sister said - "Few have the courage that you do. Deepest respect for your decision", re-tweeting Rahul Gandhi's post.

In his letter, Rahul Gandhi had said:

It is a habit in India that the powerful cling to power, no one sacrifices power. But we will not defeat our opponents without sacrificing the desire for power and fighting a deeper ideological battle. It is an honour for me to serve the Congress Party, whose values and ideals have served as the lifeblood of our beautiful nation. I owe the country and my organisation a debt of tremendous gratitude and love. Jai Hind. - Rahul Gandhi, Former Congress party president

In his letter, he also called for a "radical transformation" in the Congress. "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."

For decades the party has been largely headed by generations of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Rahul Gandhi refused to nominate the next president saying "it would not be correct for me to select that person".

Many Congress leaders had urged him to reconsider his decision, insisting that he would always be their leader. Senior party leader Ahmed Patel said Rahul Gandhi would "always remain my leader". Patel also called on party leaders to accept "accountability".

"Rahulji''s resignation letter is unfortunate. We all are accountable for this defeat. He has, in a short span, already made tremendous contributions in strengthening the party and we all believe his endeavour should continue," said Patel in messages on social media. "He has, in a short span, already made tremendous contribution in strengthening the party and we all believe his endeavour should continue".

The Congress won just 52 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, a gain of only eight seats from the low of 44 in 2014 polls. Rivals BJP won 303 seats this year, up from 282 in 2014.

A new Congress president will be chosen "within a week", said party sources to the media. Among the names doing the rounds are Sushil Kumar Shinde and Mallikarjun Kharge.

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