She also expressed confidence that the party would be reinvigorated with a new and young leadership.'India is a young country. I am confident that with a new and young leadership, our party will be reinvigorated and bring about the changes that we need. You have chosen Rahul as your leader. He is my son, and it would not be suitable for me to praise him. But this much I will say- while from his very childhood he has borne experience of violence, the savage personal attacks that he has confronted since entering politics has served to make him a brave and stout hearted man. I am proud of his endurance and firmness and I am confident that he will lead the party with a pure heart, patience and devotion.'Noting that the party faced challenges hitherto never faced by it, Ms Gandhi said the fight by the Congress was for the very soul of the nation.
'Since 2014, we have been playing the part of the opposition. Never before have we faced the challenge that we face today. The Fundamentals of our Constitution are under attack. Our party has lost several state elections, but an exemplary courage fires our Congress workers. We are not the ones to bend in fear because our struggle is a fight for the very soul of this nation. We will never retreat from this fight,' Ms Gandhi said.She said at a time when there were daily attacks on the freedom of speech and expression and existence of an atmosphere of suspicion and fear, the Congress party needed to look within in order to forge ahead.
'Today, you the leaders and the workers of our party., are the custodians of the ideals and principles on which our nation was built. It is not power, wealth or self importance that should be our aim, it is this country- it is safeguarding our fundamental principles.'We are all witness to the daily assault on the fundamental values, an assault on freedom of speech and expression, our culture of diversity and its replacement with an atmosphere of suspicion and fear. The Congress must look within to forge ahead. If we do not stand by our principles, we will not be able to wage this fight. It is a battle of righteousness and we must fit ourselves to attain success,' Ms Gandhi said.