United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday praised Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his "valiant and relentless" campaign in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying he toiled night and day for the party, demonstrated his "fearless leadership" and took on the Narendra Modi government head on.
Sonia Gandhi's lavish praise for his son came as he has been insisting on quitting the post owning moral responsibility for the party's debacle in the general elections.
Addressing the first Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting after her re-election as its Chariperson, she indicated that party workers wanted Rahul to continue as the party chief.
She said emotional messages were coming from all corners vindicating his leadership.
The party faced unprecedented crisis and also an unprecedented opportunity, she said.
"I also take this opportunity to whole-heartedly thank Rahulji for his valiant and relentless campaign. As Congress President, he has toiled night and day for the Congress party. He demonstrated his fearless leadership by taking the Modi government head on," Sonia Gandhi said.
"He (Rahul) highlighted the injustices carried out against farmers, workers, traders and small businesses, against the youth, women and the marginalised sections of our society.
"He (Rahul) has rejuvenated the Congress organisation in many states, and most recently lead us to victory in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. As Congress President, he earned the respect and love of every worker and crores of voters across the length and breadth of our country. Even as I speak, emotional messages are coming from all corners, vindicating his leadership. We all express our gratitude to him for his sincerity of purpose, his relentless effort, his hard work and leadership," she said.
Sonia Gandhi said at a time of crisis, there was a need for the party to acknowledge the numerous challenges confronting it.
She said the Congress Working Committee met a few days ago to deliberate the next steps and the way forward. "Several decisive measures to strengthen the party are being discussed."
She thanked 12.3 crore voters who had voted for the party. "Your vote to the Congress party is a vote for safeguarding our Constitution, a vote for economic and social progress, a vote for liberty, and for social justice," she said.
"In an unprecedented crisis, lies an unprecedented opportunity. It is up to us to grasp it with humility and self confidence drawing appropriate lessons from the defeat," she said.