NEW DELHI: Taking responsibility for his party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday offered to resign from the post.
“It is not necessary that the Gandhi family should hold the position… the CWC can appoint someone else,” he reportedly told the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
While the CWC rejected the offer and his mother Sonia and sister Priyanka requested Rahul not to take any decision in haste, sources said the Congress chief seemed adamant.
“He was adamant on resigning but may change his decision,” said a senior leader who was present at the meeting.
Rahul’s offer to resign also raised the question of his possible successor in the party. Sources said Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot could be among the candidates.
The CWC also requested the Congress president for a complete overhaul of the party, giving him a free hand to do what he wants to strengthen the party.
The CWC also recommended a thorough ‘introspection’.
The big question, however, is if Congress will walk the talk? A similar attempt was made after the party’s debacle in 2014 and a committee under senior leader and former defence minister A K Antony was created to submit a report on the changes needed to be made in the party.
Antony completed a report and submitted it to the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi. However, the report was never made public.
“Some of those recommendations were implemented,” said Antony after the CWC.
According to senior party sources, a rejig of in-charges of various state units as well as general secretaries is on the cards. Keeping in mind the upcoming Assembly election in three states — Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand — restructuring in these states would be top priority.
“The party may even amend the party constitution in order to completely overhaul the organisation,” said a senior Congress leader.
At the CWC, issues such as the role of the Election Commission, BJP’s micromanaged campaign, massive polarisation and breaching caste barriers in a key state like Uttar Pradesh were discussed.
“There were some members who brought the EVM issues but others cited that the BJP manages over 55 per cent votes on many seats and that cannot be because of EVMs,” said a former Union minister, who did not wish to be identified.