Rahul Gandhi quits as Congress president

Rahul Gandhi resigns from India's Congress party after election loss

'An honour to serve the Congress Party,' says Rahul Gandhi as he steps down

"The party should decide quickly next president without any further delay". I am responsible for the loss of the 2019 elections. I personally fought the Prime Minister, the RSS and the institutions they have captured with all my being.

He said he had no hatred for the BJP, but would continue to fight the party on ideological grounds. At times, I stood completely alone and am extremely proud of it.

He noted that a free and fair election requires the neutrality of a country's institutions and an election can not be fair without arbiters a free press, an independent judiciary, and a transparent election commission that is objective and neutral. Gandhi sees an imminent danger in the country, and fears that elections may now just become a "mere ritual".

"It is now crystal clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India", he said.

"Our democracy has been fundamentally weakened".

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"Congress must radically transform itself, it is party's duty to defend people's voices that BJP is crushing", he added. "Our campaign was one of brotherhood, tolerance and respect for all of India's people, religions and communities", Gandhi's letter read.

Rahul Gandhi officially stepped down as Congress President on July 3, sharing his resignation letter on Twitter.

In the open letter, Mr Gandhi explained he would continue to work for the party under a new leadership.

Under Congress' constitution, the senior-most general secretary of the party would take over as interim president, which now would put Motilal Vora, 90, in the top job.

A close aide to Gandhi, speaking to Reuters after the meeting, had said the 49-year-old was firm about stepping aside as Congress president, a position he held since succeeding his mother, Sonia Gandhi, in late 2017.

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Sources said Hanif Khan, a local leader, claimed he would "commit suicide by hanging from a tree" if Gandhi did not take back his decision to resign as party chief.

In his resignation statement, Gandhi said he was not going to nominate the party's next president.

Soon after Rahul Gandhi announced that he was no longer the Congress chief, party General Secretary, Organisation, K.C. Venugopal said that the decision to appoint a new party President will be a "collective" one.

"This is not the first Rahul has said this; he said the same thing on 26 May", one of the CWC members told ThePrint. Indian media reported that senior leader Motilal Vohra, 90, was likely to take over as interim president.

The fresh drama surrounding Rahul's decision gave fodder to the BJP and its allies to take a dig at the Congress.

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"I have empowered them to do so and committed my full support to this process and a smooth transition", he said. Which means that the Congress would employ the same strategy as it did in 2014 and 2019- of having a leader who wields power, but without the responsibility that it brings.

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