This Article is From May 19, 2014

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi Offer to Resign, Congress Says No

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi Offer to Resign, Congress Says No

From left to right: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the CWC meeting in New Delhi

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul today offered to resign over the party's colossal electoral defeat, but the party's top leaders rejected it unanimously.

Kamal Nath, the most senior Congress parliamentarian, told NDTV on Sunday that only internal democracy could end "the culture of patronage" and elections must be held to select the Working Committee. (Watch)

As the meeting began, a group of youth Congress workers outside the venue shouted pro-Rahul slogans.

But the party has little to cheer for.  The Congress has won just 44 seats in the 543-member Parliament, as the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, swept to power with the first majority in 30 years. (Congress Vote Share Dips Below 20 Per Cent for First Time)

While accepting responsibility on Friday for what he described as the Congress doing "pretty badly", Mr Gandhi's smile baffled many.

The role of his key advisers including Jairam Ramesh may be faulted at the CWC meeting.

The Congress defeat has been attributed to a sharp economic slowdown, rising food prices and a slew of corruption scandals, as well as Mr Gandhi, 43, being comprehensively overshadowed by BJP leader Narendra Modi. (Gandhis Must Surrender Congress Leadership: Foreign Media)

The BJP leader assailed the dynastic rule of the Gandhis and tapped into widespread hunger for jobs and development, while offering a message of aspiration and ambition to the young electorate. (Opinion: Rahul Rejected Most by India's Youth)