The Congress party’s drubbing in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections where the party managed to only marginally improve its tally from 44 to 52 appears to have created a flutter in the party. Rahul Gandhi has already offered to quit, media reports said and there is a spate of resignations from leaders both big and small as the grand old party struggles to fix accountability for a loss of this scale. Adding to the string of resignations sent to the Congress president today are Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, Jharkhand Congress chief Ajoy Kumar, and its Assam unit chief Ripun Bora.
These resignations take the number of leaders offering to quit over the poll debacle to a staggering nine. These include six state unit chiefs – UP Congress Raj Babbar, Odisha unit chief Niranjan Patnaik and Ashok Chavan of Maharashtra have already sent in their resignations. Jakhar tendered his resignation after he lost the Gurdaspur seat to his BJP rival and actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol. Jakhar was a sitting MP from Gurdaspur but he lost the seat to Deol in the Lok Sabha elections by a margin of over 80,000 votes.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Jakhar said that he had sent his resignation three days ago to Congress president Rahul Gandhi but is yet to receive any communication from the party leadership. In Punjab, which sends 11 MPs to the Lok Sabha, the ruling Congress won eight seats while the SAD-BJP alliance pocketed just two seats. The Aam Aadmi Party won one seat.
Earlier today, Jharkhand Congress chief Ajoy Kumar also resigned from the post taking moral responsibility for the party’s debacle in the general elections. In Jharkhand, which has 14 Lok Sabha seats, the Congress won just one seat while the BJP-led alliance pocketed 12 seats.
Nipun Bora, the Assam unit chief of the party has also sent in his resignation to the party chief. “I take the moral responsibility for the dismal performance of the Congress party in the result of Lok Sabha elections under my leadership in Assam. Whatever may be the reason for this humiliating defeat of my party in Assam, my conscience does not allow me to continue as president of Assam PCC,” Bora said in his resignation letter.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik and Maharashtra Ashok Chavan chief had resigned from their respective posts. Also, the party’s Amethi district unit president Yogendra Mishra had resigned from the post, owning responsibility for Rahul Gandhi’s defeat. Rahul lost his family bastion to BJP’s Smriti Irani by a margin of 55,000 votes.
The Congress led by Rahul Gandhi won just 52 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, two less than the minimum seats required to get the Leader of Opposition post in the Lok Sabha. The party had won 44 seats in 2014.
On Saturday, Rahul had offered to resigned as the Congress president, taking moral responsibility for the party’s loss at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Delhi. However, his resignation offer was unanimously rejected by the members of the CWC.