United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was on Saturday re-elected the leader of the Congress parliamentary party. The Congress parliamentary party, comprising newly-elected lawmakers of the Lok Sabha and lawmakers of the Rajya Sabha, held a meeting here a day after dates of the upcoming parliament session were announced.
The re-election of Sonia as parliamentary leader came amidst speculation as to whether her son and Congress President Rahul Gandhi would take on the role even as uncertainty persisted about his future after stepping down as Congress chief in the wake of the party’s crushing defeat in recent parliamentary elections. The Congress got a total of 52 seats, just eight more than it had bagged five years ago.
This was the first official meeting that Rahul Gandhi attended after the May 25 meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making forum, where he had offered to quit as Congress chief two days after the poll results were declared. The CWC has already rejected his offer to resign and unanimously passed a resolution authorising him to bring structural changes in the party at all levels in a bid to revamp the Congress’ organization.
The cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday approved a proposal to convene the session of the new Lok Sabha from June 17 to July 26 and that of the Rajya Sabha from June 20 to July 26. Addressing the Congress party's lawmakers, Rahul asked them to be more aggressive in the fight against the BJP.
He said the Congress still has 52 MPs in the Lok Sabha and "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 are fighting against you... You have to be more aggressive," he said.