Rahul Gandhi has stepped down as president of the main opposition Indian National Congress party, taking responsibility for its second-straight landslide defeat in India's national elections.
Others have begun wondering what this could mean for the future of the Congress party.
Rahul Gandhi will continue to be Congress president till his resignation is accepted by the Congress Working Committee, PTI quoted top party sources as saying even as senior leader Motilal Vohra said party members would again request him to reconsider his decision.
For most of almost 70 years, Congress has been controlled by a member of the family, beginning with India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The Modi-led BJP has trounced Congress in two successive general elections, winning 303 out of 542 parliament seats in 2019, and wresting away Gandhi's own parliament seat in a family borough in northern India. "If the Congress has to come back to the centre stage, he should lead the party", Nirupam said.
"Our democracy has been fundamentally weakened".
In a four-page open letter, Gandhi urged the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to entrust a group of people with the task of finding a new president as it would not be proper for him to do so.
"The party should decide on the new president quickly without further delay, I'm nowhere in this process", Gandhi told ANI.
Both men are part of the party's entrenched old guard, reflecting its inability to promote younger leaders, which some officials identified as a major reason for the 2019 general election defeat.
"The instrument of this resuscitation will be the Congress party. There is a real danger that from now on (that) elections will go from being a determinant of India's future to a mere ritual".
"This capture of power will result in unimaginable levels of violence and pain for India".
Stating that he was born a Congerssman and will always remain one, Gandhi said that the Congress needs to "radically transform itself". Today the BJP is systematically crushing the voice of the Indian people.
After initially castigating state leaders for lack of intent during elections, Rahul Gandhi announced his decision to give up party presidentship more than a month back.
In spite of having the support of more than 12 crore Indians (as evidenced from the vote share figures), the Congress appears to be a party lost without a objective.
"It is now crystal clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India", he said.
As an alternative, the Congress Party promised minimum income guarantee for poor Indians and said it would work to protect India's diversity in the face of threats from divisive right-wing Hindus.
Sonia Gandhi, who remains an influential figure after Rahul succeeded her as party president in 2017, has not commented.
There have also been several resignations of middle-rung leaders.