Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi Monday offered to resign for the party's worst performance in a general election, but the Congress Working Committee unanimously rejected it, senior leader Amarinder Singh said.
"Sonia Gandhi-ji and Rahul Gandhi offered to resign, but the CWC (Congress Working Committee) rejected it," the former Punjab chief minister told IANS.
Party sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also said it was not a solution to the problem.
"The resignation of Sonia and Rahul is no solution to problems faced by the party," a source quoting the prime minister told IANS.
The sources added that almost one-third of the time of the meeting was taken up by the members urging Sonia and Rahul Gandhi not to press their resignation.
A party leader said: "Many members said the party was not able to properly communicate with people. Rahul Gandhi is likely to be given more free hand in organisational affairs in the coming days."
The CWC met here to take stock of the party's worst performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in which it won just 44 seats.
After the results were announced May 16, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi owned up responsibility for the party's performance.
Party leader Oscar Fernandes said: "There is no question of retreat. We will fight."
The Congress also blamed the BJP for 'polarising the electorate' to win elections. However, it admitted that the UPA government failed to effectively curb inflation and understand the aspirations of the people, which had changed considerably in the last 10 years.
The CWC appreciated Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for their efforts during the election campaign, saying that the two had worked tirelessly, covering the whole country. It authorised party president Sonia Gandhi to take whatever steps necessary to correct the situation of the party. It hinted that 'corrective measures' would be taken at all levels of government.
The CWC also said that Rahul Gandhi had offered to resign stating that he should take accountability, since there seemed to be no accountability in the party. However, the Congress party rejected the offer.
The Congress also 'applauded' Manmohan Singh for being a 'sober and dignified' Prime Minister, and said that it was confident that history would look at the UPA performance in a much kinder way than the results of the 2014 elections show. It admitted that the results were extremely disappointing and that deep introspection was the need of the hour.
The Congress reiterated that it was proud of its ideals of 'secularism, democracy and social justice' and would continue to occupy the centrist space on the political spectrum for the benefit of the Indian people.