After Congress's humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections 2019, party president Rahul Gandhi took full responsibility for the Congress's poll defeat. The Congress chief has offered to resign at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting today.
However, senior party leaders are persuading him not to resign. It has been reported that former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul's sister Priyanka Gandhi, too, tried to persuade him not to resign.
The first review meeting of the Congress party after its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections included 52 members of the CWC, which includes party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and the chief ministers of all Congress-ruled states - Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
At the CWC meeting, several party leaders including Rahul Gandhi gave their assessment of what went wrong and the remedial steps that must be taken. However, top party leaders claimed that Rahul Gandhi's relentless "chowkidar chor hai" campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi was "negative" in its tone.
The meeting of Congress's highest decision-making body, the CWC, commenced at 11 am today.
While the Congress won 52 seats in the 542 Lok Sabha constituencies, the BJP-led NDA has swept back to power in a landslide by winning a record 303 seats out of 542. Congress suffered a loss for the second time in a row at the hands of the Narendra Modi-led BJP.
Earlier, sources had said that Rahul Gandhi's resignation offer was rejected by Sonia Gandhi. However, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot called the reports "baseless and irrelevant". "We shall never forget that it was because of Rahul Gandhi's tireless efforts and fighting spirit that Congress was able to put up a strong challenge to the NDA government," he said.
After the 2019 mandate, rumors of Congress President’s resignation are baseless and irrelevant. We shall never forget that it was because of Sh. #RahulGandhi’s tireless efforts and fighting spirit that Congress was able to put up a strong challenge to NDA government.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) May 24, 2019
Also, senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam asked why should Gandhi resign when the entire party fought "bravely" under his leadership. He said that the election loss was their "bad luck" but that shouldn't raise questions on the leadership. "Under the leadership of Congress President @RahulGandhi we fought this election bravely. He worked very hard undoubtedly. Our bad luck,we lost. Why should he resign? No. He should continue to lead the party. We will fight back under his leadership and come back soon," tweeted Nirupam.