Rahul Gandhi resigns as leader of India’s opposition Congress
Rahul Gandhi has resigned as president of India’s main opposition Congress party, ending weeks of speculation.
In his resignation letter, he took responsibility for the party’s defeat in the recent general election.
He had already announced his intention to resign, but party leaders had hoped to change his mind.
It is an honour for me to serve the Congress Party, whose values and ideals have served as the lifeblood of our beautiful nation.
I owe the country and my organisation a debt of tremendous gratitude and love.
Jai Hind 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/WWGYt5YG4V
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 3, 2019
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.
He also called the impartiality of the election into question, saying that “we didn’t fight a political party. We fought the entire machinery of the Indian state”.
The BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to victory in the election, winning a massive mandate
The scale of victory stunned the opposition and pundits, who were expecting a much closer race.
Mr Gandhi was also the face of Congress when it suffered its worst defeat in 2014, winning just 44 of India’s 543 seats. This year it did marginally better with 52 seats, but many still called it a “humiliating performance”.
Mr Gandhi also lost his own seat in his family constituency of Amethi in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, though he is still a MP because he won a second seat in the southern state of Kerala.