Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the party’s 52 Lok Sabha MPs are strong enough to “make BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] jump every day”, India Today reported. Gandhi made the remarks at the party gathering where Sonia Gandhi was elected the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party.
“We are 52 MPs. I guarantee you that these 52 MPs will fight against BJP every single inch,” he said. The BJP currently has 303 members after its landmark victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
Gandhi asked his party members to remember that they are “fighting for the Constitution” and “for every person in India irrespective of the color of his skin or belief”. This is the first time Gandhi has made scathing remarks against the BJP since the Congress suffered a major loss in the General Elections with only 52 of 542 parliamentary seats.
“We need to introspect in the party,” Gandhi said, according to the Hindustan Times. “We will try and rejuvenate ourselves and we can do it.”
Gandhi reportedly said that this was the first election that was fought not against a political party, but against “every single institution in this country”.
“You have given a tremendous service in fighting for the Constitution and now you are fighting every single institution,” Hindustan Times quoted Gandhi as saying. “There is no institution that is going to support you in this country, not one is going to support you. It is like during the British period, when not a single institution supported the Congress Party, yet we fought and won and we are going to do it again.”
On May 25, Gandhi had offered to resign from the party’s top post after the major setback in the Lok Sabha elections. However, his resignation was unanimously rejected by the Congress Working Committee, which insisted that he should stay on and oversee the party’s overhaul.
After Gandhi had been adamant, several leaders, including allies of the Congress, had requested him not to step down. A section of Congress workers and leaders also sat on a hunger strike outside his residence to convince him to withdraw his resignation.
At the CPP meeting, there were no official confirmation on whether Gandhi would remain the party’s president, Hindustan Times reported quoting an unnamed party leader. Gandhi was reportedly asked by Congress leaders to not quit at the sidelines of the meeting.
Sonia Gandhi had also addressed the party and said that several “decisive measures” were being considered in order to strengthen the Congress. Gandhi said that they will support the government’s reform measures, but oppose its “divisive and regressive actions”, and congratulates Congress President Rahul Gandhi on a “valiant and relentless campaign”.