Ending speculation about his continuation as president of Congress, Rahul Gandhi officially resigned on Wednesday, holding himself accountable for the Lok Sabha election debacle of the party, and maintaining that accountability would be critical to the future growth of the party.
The decision by Mr Gandhi to make his resignation public sent senior leaders of the Congress into a huddle. It is thought that senior representatives, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Motilal Vohra, A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel, Anand Sharma, and Mukul Wasnik, among others, met informally to decide on the next course of action, including alternatives available in the constitution of the party to cope with such a situation.
Mr Gandhi said in a four-page open letter that he empowered the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to form a group of individuals who could discover his successor and distance themselves from the selection process of the next chief. Party veterans asserted that he should remain as president until the CWC officially accepts his resignation and appoints an interim president.
If the 49-year-old Chief of Congress is not relenting, then the longest-serving General Secretary could be asked to take provisional charge, and that could be Mr Azad as he became the CWC General Secretary back in 1986.