India's Rahul Gandhi calls for change as he quits as Congress leader

With Rahul Gandhi stating categorically that he would not continue as Congress president, one uncertainty that had gripped the party has ended.

A large number of Congress activists led by Deora, former city chief Sanjay Nirupam, Deputy Leader of Congress in the Assembly Naseem Khan and other leaders welcomed Gandhi at the Mumbai Airport on his first visit to the city a day after he quit as party President.

The chief ministers of Congress-ruled states last week offered to resign to highlight the collective responsibility for the party's performance.

This resignation saga began after the catastrophic loss of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha 2019 Elections and also the loss of Rahul Gandhi's stronghold in Amethi. "It would be unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as president of the party".

"The Congress Working Committee should convene a meeting at the earliest and decide on a new party chief", he said.

Now compare this ennui with the energy levels of the BJP: the moment Narendra Modi came back for a second term, the party announced a series of changes, the major one being the induction of Amit Shah into the union cabinet.

Still, he is expected to remain a power centre within the party, which has for decades banked on members of the Nehru-Gandhi family to help it navigate through the turbulence of Indian politics. "That is the true essence of Bharat Mata", he said. Over the weekend, almost 200 Congress office-bearers quit their posts in solidarity with Gandhi, but the latter seems to have remained unmoved.

In the letter he added that while he had no "hatred or anger" towards India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), "every living cell in my body instinctively resists their idea of India" which he said was based on differences and hatred. Highlighting the importance of the Gandhi family in the Congress party, DK Shivakumar said, "Without Gandhi family, Congress can't be united, without Congress being united country can't be united".

In an open letter made public on his Twitter account, Gandhi, son of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, also said that the BJP's sweeping election win proved that the RSS' aim of capturing the country's institutional structure was now complete. I fought because I love India. "We fought the entire machinery of the Indian state". "At times, I stood alone and I am completely proud of it", he wrote. "It is the duty of the Congress Party to defend these voices", the letter continued. "We didn't fight a political party in the 2019 election", he said.

"It is a hard time for the party, but together, we will get through it, to come out stronger and bigger, with Rahul's vision continuing to guide us", he added.

He added that "The Indian nation must unite to reclaim and resuscitate our institutions".

  • Jon Douglas