The Congress Working Committee has rejected party president Rahul Gandhi's resignation and authorised him to carry out necessary changes in the party's structure, chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a press conference on Saturday. Earlier in the day, senior leaders of the Congress held a meeting of the party's working committee to apparantly discuss the Lok Sabha election debacle and strategy to revive the party.
During the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi reportedly offered to step down from the party president's post. However, his decision was opposed by the all the other members and former prime minister Manmohan Singh urged him not to resign, saying victory and defeats are part of life.
"Party President Rahul Gandhi offered his resignation but it was rejected by the members of CWC unanimously," Surjewala said while adressing a press confernce in the party headquarters in Delhi.
Surjewala said that Congress party needs Rahul Gandhi's leadership and guidance and the CWC has authorised him to make necessary changes in the party's structure. "CWC has given Congress President the right to makes changes to restructure the party, a plan for this will be brought soon," Surjewala added.
Former Union defence minister AK Antony, who accompanied Surjewala during the presser, refused to agree that it was a disastrous performance but contended that they were not able to rise up to the expectations. He said that a detailed discussion will be held on the party's performance and all the necessary actions will be taken.
"I don't agree that it was a disastrous performance, but we were not able to rise up to the expectations. Party will discuss this in details...Today we had only general discussions," Antony said.
In the recently concluded general elections, the Congress party performed miserably and won just 52 of the total 542 seats, while the BJP for the first time crossed 300-mark on its own. The saffron party won 303 seats and the NDA's tally stood at 353. Although the Congress did better its 2014 performance (44 seats) and won 8 more seats, the party could not open its account in several states and Union Territories (UTs).
The states and UTs where the party could not win a single seat are - Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadar&Nagar Haveli, Daman&Diu and Lakshadweep.