Leadership uncertainty remains in India's opposition party after election defeat

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-28 17:20:11|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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NEW DELHI, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Uncertainty in terms of party leadership remained in India's main opposition party, the Indian National Congress (INC), as party President Rahul Gandhi offered to step down in the aftermath of the crushing defeat the INC suffered in the just-concluded general elections.

In the election results announced May 24, the INC won just 52 out of the 542 parliamentary constituencies that went to polls, while the main ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 303, and is set to form the second consecutive alliance government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.

In the 2014 general elections the INC won 44 parliamentary constituencies.

A senior congressman confirmed with Xinhua Rahul Gandhi's insistence for relinquishing the top party post, saying "we had not expected such a poor show for our party... Rahul Gandhi is of the idea that someone else should take over, as he thinks he has failed to deliver."

On May 25, Rahul Gandhi proposed his resignation at a crucial meeting of the INC's highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), in the presence of the party's top leadership.

However, the party rejected his resignation proposal and urged him to stay in the top party post. "The CWC passed a unanimous resolution rejecting Rahul Gandhi's offer and urged him to continue as the party president in this challenging time and lead the party taking forward its ideologies. The party accepts the people's mandate in the just concluded elections," party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.

The CWC meeting was attended by a host of senior Congress leaders, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Party Chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul's sister Priyanka Gandhi, among others.

On Tuesday, a series of meetings are slated to take place at the party's headquarters in a bid to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, INC's presidents in a number of states have also offered to resign over election defeat.

There are around 17 states and union territories where Congress could not win a single parliamentary constituency.