Sonia Gandhi elected as parliamentary party leader; Rahul vows to 'fight the BJP every day'
A group of newly elected Congress parliamentarians on Saturday elected UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi as their parliamentary leader. The decision was taken in a meeting, which was held a week after Rahul Gandhi, taking responsibility for the party's loss in the Lok Sabha election 2019, expressed his desire to quit the Congress President post. The Congress won 52 out of 542 parliamentary seats in 2019's General Elections. This is the party's second worst performance after the 2014 poll debacle. The grand old party is three members short to qualify for the post of Opposition's leader in Lok Sabha.
While congratulating his mother, Rahul Gandhi, in his address to party's MPs, said the party "will fight the BJP every day". "You have to understand who you are first. You are fighting for every single Indian. Hatred cowardice and anger is fighting against you. You have to be more aggressive," he added. Gandhi, in reference to the missing party members, said, "I would be happy if the old faces were here and they are ideologically with us. We will try and rejuvenate ourselves and we can do it".
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Gandhi's close aide, has lost the Lok Sabha election 2019 from Guna. Several of the Congress' senior leaders have also lost against the BJP. Moreover, Sonia Gandhi has made it clear that the party chief's post is her top priority.
Addressing the lawmakers, she thanked Rahul Gandhi for "toiling night and day and taking on the Modi government, raising concerns about all sections of society and helped the party win in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan". She added, "As we speak, emotional messages are coming for his continuation (as the party chief). The Congress Working Committee met to deliberate the issue and must take steps." The meeting was attended by Congress' all 52 lawmakers, who won in the Lok Sabha election and members from the Rajya Sabha.