NEW DELHI Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Thursday he takes “100 per cent” responsibility for the defeat in Lok Sabha polls and congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP on their spectacular victory, but asserted his party will continue to fight the ideological battle with the saffron party.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Gandhi said the Congress Working Committee will meet soon and decide whether he should resign as the party chief following the electoral debacle.
“I congratulate Narendra Modiji and BJP for their electoral victory. People of India have decided that Narendra Modi will be the PM again and I fully respect that,” Gandhi said.
He said he accepts the people’s verdict and congratulated the winners.
“I take 100 per cent responsibility for this defeat,” he told reporters.
“Our candidates fought with whole of heart and courage. I want to thank them from my heart. Our fight is that of an ideology. There are two different set of thinkings one is that of Narendra Modi and BJP, and the other one is Congress… We would have to accept that in this election, BJP and Narendra Modi have won,” he added.
The Congress could manage to add only a few seats to its 2014 tally of 44 seats.
Gandhi has conceded defeat in Amethi, a traditional bastion of his family, to BJP’s Smriti Irani but won from the second seat he contested in Kerala’s Wayanad.
“I accept the verdict of the people of India. Congratulations to the winners, Mr Modi and the NDA. Thank you to the people of Wayanad for electing me as your MP. Thank you also to the people of Amethi. Thank you Congress workers and leaders for your hard work in this campaign,” Gandhi tweeted later.
Asked if he would step down as the Congress president, Gandhi said, “We will have a meeting of the Working Committee. And they will decide that there.”
Asked again whether he would offer to resign, he replied, “That you can leave between me and the Working Committee.”