India opposition party leader Rahul Gandhi resigns

NEW DELHI (AP) — Rahul Gandhi resigned yesterday as President of India’s opposition Congress party, long linked to his politically powerful family, to take responsibility for its crushing defeat in recent elections.

Gandhi announced his resignation on Twitter, saying he was stepping down because accountability is “critical for the future growth of our party”.

He said rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and “numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure”.

“It would be unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as president of the party,” Gandhi said in his resignation letter.

It was unclear whether the left-of-centre secular party would accept his resignation.

Gandhi’s family, starting with his great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, has produced three prime ministers. Two of them — his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father, Rajiv Gandhi — were assassinated in office.

Rahul Gandhi lost his own seat, long a Congress party bastion, in the recent elections, marking the end of an era for modern India’s most powerful political dynasty. However, he won a seat from another constituency.

He had been talking of quitting since the results of the elections were announced in May, but party officials urged him to stay on.

Congress party President Rahul Gandhi. – AP