‘Accountability is critical’, tweets Rahul Gandhi in farewell note to Cong
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who has been approached by scores of party leaders to continue as the party boss, on Wednesday tweeted a four-page farewell note to his supporters to signal that his decision was final and a nudge to the party to quickly find his replacement.
Gandhi also made it clear that he wasn’t going to be part of the exercise to select his successor as many of his supporters had suggested.
“It would be unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as President of the party,” Rahul Gandhi said in the signed note that he put out on Twitter. He also changed his Twitter bio that no longer described him as the Congress president. Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora is likely to be named the interim chief.
Watch | Rahul Gandhi quits as president of Indian National Congress
The 49-year-old Congress leader had stunned his party’s top leadership at the 25 May meeting of the Congress Working Committee when he first conveyed his decision to quit after the Congress’s humiliating defeat in the national elections. The CWC, the party’s top decision-making body, tried to persuade him to stay on and gave him a free hand to overhaul the party.
Over the next 39 days, the Congress chief first went incommunicado and then severely curtailed his party engagements to send a clear message that he meant every word. Over the last few weeks, many Congress leaders seen to be close to him also sent across their resignation letters to build pressure. Gandhi, who had used his Twitter handle to launch many jibes at PM Modi during the election campaign, also went silent on social media. Mostly.
As questions about his continuation continued, Gandhi turned to social media to get his farewell message out. This time, the Congress handle also amplified his message.
In this, Gandhi signaled that he wasn’t going to be the only one without a leadership role when the exercise to rebuild the party is started. “Rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure of 2019,” he said.
“As President of the Congress party, I am responsible for the loss of the 2019 election. Accountability is critical for the future growth of our party,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi said his fight with the ruling BJP had never “been a simple battle for political power” but a resistance to their idea of India. But he underscored that his stepping down from the Congress’s top post did not imply that was “stepping back from this fight”.
The barbs at the BJP continued. “We didn’t fight a political party in the election. Rather, we fought the entire machinery of the Indian state, every institution of which was marshalled against the opposition. It is now crystal clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India,” he said.
“There is a real danger that from now on, elections will go from being a determinant of India’s future to a mere ritual,” he said. Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory “does not negate the breath of corruption allegations against him, no amount of money and propaganda can ever hide the light of the truth”.
He said he would remain “a loyal soldier of the Congress” and “a devoted son of India”.