Gandhis' offer to quit rejected by Congress party after election defeat
India's Sonia and Rahul Gandhi offered to resign yesterday after leading the Congress party to its worst election defeat, only for colleagues to insist the dynasty stay in place, a lawmaker said.
Congress won just 44 seats in the 543-member parliament as the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power.
Sonia, the 67-year-old Congress party president, entrusted campaigning to her son and vice-president Rahul, whose lacklustre performance failed to convince voters as Congress sought a third term in power.
"They both offered to resign but the party rejected it unanimously," lawmaker Amarinder Singh said after a meeting of Congress leaders in New Delhi.
The Congress Working Committee passed a unanimous resolution expressing "full faith" in their leadership.
The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has provided three prime ministers, including independent India's first, but analysts are increasingly questioning if it is the vote-winner it used to be.
"Economic growth and social mobility have radically transformed how younger Indians think and behave," historian Ramachandra Guha wrote.
"No longer so deferential … they ask for evidence of Rahul Gandhi's own contributions apart from his family lineage. These are few."