Congress President Rahul Gandhi is learnt to have told leaders at the Congress Working Committee meeting on Saturday that he was ready to carry the ideological battle against the BJP-RSS but does not want to be bogged down by routine matters and they should chose a new party chief from outside the Nehru-Gandhi family.
A party leader told IANS that Rahul Gandhi was quite firm on his offer to resign and did not agree to suggestions from party leaders that he can appoint a Working President or a vice chief for routine party affairs.
The CWC meeting was called to discuss the debacle suffered by the party in the Lok Sabha elections - the second since 2014.
Gandhi, who took moral responsibility for the party's defeat, told the meeting that he would actively work with the person chosen by the party in his place.
He is learnt to have said India needs an ideological fight against the BJP and its ideological patron, the RSS, and he "was ready for that" but conveyed that he does not want to be bogged down by matters such as appointments of district Congress chiefs as these were taking a lot of his time.
"I am not running away," he told the CWC members, as per the party leader.
Staying firm on his offer to resign, Gandhi had said that the next person "need not be from the family" and referred leaders from outside the Nehru-Gandhi family who have led the party in the past.
As Gandhi stayed firm on his offer of resignation, suggestions poured in noisily from other members that he can appoint a Working President or a Vice President but he did not relent.
Congress leaders said that if he had agreed, there was scope for a further discussion but with his response, there was no further progress on the matter.
A few members at the meeting also raked up the alleged manipulation of electronic voting machines (EVMs) but others said that nothing should be said without proof.
The resolution adopted by the CWC unanimously on Saturday rejected Gandhi's offer to resign and "requested" him to provide "his leadership and guidance in these challenging times".
It unanimously called on Gandhi to lead the party in its ideological battle and to champion the cause of India's youth, the farmers, the SC/ST/OBCs, the minorities, the poor and the deprived sections.