Rahul Gandhi as Congress president was seen as a bulwark against the forces of hate, bigotry and intolerance, and he set new standards of accountability by taking responsibility for the party's Lok Sabha polls defeat, the Congress' top decision-making body said on Saturday. The effusive praise for Rahul Gandhi came in a resolution passed by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in which the party placed on record its profound sense of appreciation and gratitude for the "exceptional leadership" provided by him as Congress president.
Rahul Gandhi was appointed as Congress president on December 16, 2017 and his tenure ended on Saturday after his resignation tendered on May 25 this year was accepted by the CWC and his mother Sonia Gandhi was named as the interim chief. "Rahul Gandhi led the party with unbounded drive, fierce determination and dedication. He campaigned in the assembly and national elections with indefatigable energy," the resolution said.
It said that Rahul Gandhi gave a new sense of "aggression and modernity" to the party organization and opened up numerous opportunities to the younger generation. He inspired every Congress worker through his never-say-die attitude and earned their admiration and respect, the resolution said.
"Rahul Gandhi's instinctive moral compass is evident from the manner in which he has taken personal responsibility for the disappointing performance of the party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, thereby setting new standards of accountability in public life," the CWC said.
The party's top decision-making body also applauded his courage, commitment and conviction in stepping down as Congress president which was a deeply personal decision but is encouraged that his services, inputs and advice will continue to be available to the party, the resolution said. The party said that each and every Congressman and woman looks up to him for continued support and guidance, it said. "Rahul Gandhi emerged as a beacon of hope for the very large number of people who cherish the idea of India on which India's freedom movement and the Constitution was anchored," it said
The CWC said that he came to be seen as a "bulwark against the forces of hate, prejudice, bigotry, intolerance and divisiveness". Gandhi stood up fearlessly on issues of day-to-day concern to farmer, farm workers, traders and small businesses, youth, women, minorities, Dalits and Adivasis and the weaker sections of society, the resolution said. The party said Rahul Gandhi raised his voice boldly against the growing atmosphere of "fear and intimidation in our country". These issues continue to be of significant relevance irrespective of the electoral verdict of May 2019, the party said. \
The Congress Working Committee has appointed Sonia Gandhi as the interim president on Saturday. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad confirmed to the media after the meeting ended. AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal during a media briefing said that the CWC unanimously wanted to Rahul Gandhi to work as the party's chief but since he declined they requested Sonia Gandhi to take over until the new president was elected. He added that Sonia Gandhi agreed to the proposal, thereby becoming the interim Congress president.
"Congress Working Committee unanimously resolved that Rahul Gandhi should continue as Congress president and requested him to accept this decision, however, he declined to withdraw his resignation.Congress Working Committee (CWC) unanimously resolved to request Sonia Gandhi to take over as the Interim President, pending the election of a regular president by the AICC," he said.