Rahul Gandhi determined to step down as Congress president, party leaders urge him to reconsider

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Published: June 26, 2019 1:03:50 PM

Rahul Gandhi stepped down as the Congress president on May 25, two days after the Lok Sabha election results were declared. He had reportedly given the party 30 days to find a replacement. That deadline ended yesterday.

Rahul GandhiIn the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi lost the Amethi seat, which has been a Congress bastion since 1967, to BJP leader Smriti Irani. (PTI Photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi remains firm on his decision to step down as party chief. During a Congress parliamentary party meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi refused to budge despite Congress MPs asking him to reonsider his decision, news agency ANI reported.

Congress suffered a drubbing at the hands of Bharatiya Janata Party in the recently held Lok Sabha elections. While BJP won 303 of the 543 seats, Congress could muster only 52. After 2014, this was the Congress’ second-ever worst performance. Rahul Gandhi even lost the Amethi seat, which has been a Congress bastion since 1967, to BJP leader Smriti Irani.

Soon after the Lok Sabha election results were declared, Rahul Gandhi took moral responsibility for the loss and informed party leaders of his decision to step down. Druing Wednesday’s meeting, senior party leader Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari told Gandhi that the party chief is not the one to be blamed for the poll debacle, ANI reported. Rahul Gandhi was, however, determined to step down.

Members of the Youth Congress on Wednesday held a demonstartion outside the Wayanad MP’s residence, urging him to take back his resignation. They shouted slogans of “Rahul Ganhi zindabad”. They are expected to meet Rahul Gandhi later this week.

Several Congress leaders have time and again asked Rahul Gandhi to continue as party chief. “Rahul Gandhi hardly got two years. He led the party to success in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh,” Veerappa Moily told The Indian Express recently. Moily said that the loss in the elections should be shared by everybody and that an investigation needs to be done as to what led to the debacle. He said that even if Rahul Gandhi were to step down, he should do so only after taking steps to reorganise and restructure Congress.

Rahul Gandhi stepped down as the Congress president on May 25, two days after the Lok Sabha election results were declared. He had reportedly given the party 30 days to find a replacement. That deadline ended yesterday.

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