NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday reiterated that he would not go back on his decision to resign from the top post of the party, a month after he offered to do so during a meeting of the party’s working committee, which had rejected it.
Gandhi offered to resign on 25 May after the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress president was also defeated by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union minister Smriti Irani in the party’s bastion of Amethi, though he managed to win the Wayanad seat.
On Wednesday, Gandhi conveyed his stand during a meeting of Lok Sabha members of the Congress party, which was convened by Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Congress parliamentary party.
The meeting was called to familiarize new members with parliamentary procedures, but party leaders raised the issue of Rahul Gandhi’s resignation.
“Some of the senior leaders urged Rahul Gandhi to go back on his decision as it is the time to lead the party from the front. He, however, refused to budge and said it was up to the working committee to take the next step," a senior party leader and member of Parliament from the Lok Sabha who attended the meeting said, requesting anonymity.
The Youth Congress staged a demonstration in front of Rahul Gandhi’s residence urging him to reverse his decision.
The issue has cropped up ahead of key assembly polls in Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, which are to be held later this year. Assembly elections could also be held in Jammu & Kashmir.
Gandhi has been meeting leaders of other parties, including senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule whom he met on Wednesday. However, senior party leaders feel preparations for the elections has been affected because of the confusion in the ranks.