CWC Meeting: Although the Congress Working Committee has unanimously rejected Party President Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign from the top post as the party suffered huge electoral setback under his leadership, but it has not stopped murmurs against the fourth generation Gandhi family scion among the rank and file of Congress workers.
The BJP, the arch rival of the Congress party in national politics, dealt a heavy blow to the party in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. While the BJP won 303 Lok Sabha seats, a gain of 21 seats over its previous tally, Congress was barely able to increase its numbers from 44 to 52.
This will be two back-to-back terms in the Lok Sabha when the party will not be able to get the position of leader of opposition (LoP) in the lower house for want of numbers. As per the established convention, the largest party in opposition to the ruling bloc gets the post but it should have at least 10% or total 55 members in the Lok Sabha to qualify for this position.
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The party’s two back-to-back dismal election performances have left the party workers worried about the future of the party under the present leadership. Some of them want the party leaders to own up the responsibility and bring about necessary changes in the party organisation to ensure its revival.
“Some of our candidates have won just 20-25,000 votes in the Lok Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh. It was unthinkable, ” said a district level party functionary in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh.
It is the party’s abysmally poor showing in the politically crucial state that has demoralised the party workers the most as the state sends maximum 80 seats in the Lok Sabha. The party could not even hope for its revival without improving its tally in the state as 10 of total 14 Prime Ministers were elected to the Lok Sabha from the state.
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In this election, the Congress could win only one seat Rai Bareli in the state, the seat held by UPA chairperson and former Congress President Sonia Gandhi. However, it is the defeat of Congress President Rahul Gandhi in family bastion of Amethi in the state at the hands of union minister Smriti Irani that has sent shock waves across the party cadre. It has also led to the calls for fixing the responsibility of the top leadership in the party.
While state Congress President Raj Babbar has tendered his resignation, but it was not enough to satisfy some of the workers who have been working for the party for decades.
Though the Congress Working Committee has not only unanimously rejected the party president Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign but has also authorised him to completely overhaul the party at every level. But it has not gone down well with some workers at the grass-root level.
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“If the party needs to be overhauled then it should begin from the top, ” said another district level office bearer in Western Uttar Pradesh requesting not to be named.
“If you begin to clean a staircase from the below then you will never be able to clean it. A political party is like a staircase, it can only be cleaned when you begin the cleaning process from the top,” the party functionary from Western Uttar Pradesh told Financial Express Online.
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