‘Love never loses, we will emerge stronger’: Rahul Gandhi after poll defeat
Congress president Rahul Gandhi congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for their victory in the Lok Sabha polls as he conceded defeat, saying he accepted the people’s mandate.
Gandhi took “100% responsibility” for the defeat while clarifying that a decision on whether he will step down from the post of the party’s president will be taken at a meeting of the party’s working committee, the highest decision-making body. “The decision will be between me and the working committee,” he said.
The Congress separately denied reports that Gandhi had offered his resignation. “Reports of the resignation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president are mischievous and incorrect,” the party said in a statement.
The working committee meeting is scheduled to be held on Saturday, according to people aware of the development.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Narendra Modi and the BJP. I heartily thank the workers and candidates of our Congress party who fought with all their heart,” he said at a press briefing on Thursday. His sister and Congress general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, was among those who accompanied Gandhi at the briefing.
Gandhi called the Lok Sabha election campaign a battle of ideologies between the two parties. “Our battle is the fight of ideology. There are two different thoughts – one [of] Narendra Modi ji and the BJP’s and the other of the Congress. There are two different views but we have to admit that Narendra Modi and the BJP have won,” he said.
Gandhi congratulated his rival, Smriti Irani of the BJP, for winning his family pocket borough of Amethi, which he lost after winning it since 2004. “I would like to congratulate Smriti Irani ji for winning. Amethi’s people have given their verdict and I respect that,” he added. In 2014, Gandhi had defeated Irani by a margin of about 100,000 votes in Amethi.
Gandhi emerged victorious from Kerala’s Wayanad seat.
The Congress president thanked party workers for their hard work and effort. “I want to tell them and all those people in India who believe in the Congress’s ideology that do not be scared, have faith and we will work and sort this out in the time to come. Love never loses, and I am certain that we will emerge stronger and work better... love will guide us.”