Resignations pour in ahead of CWC, Rahul may offer to quit as party chief
New Delhi: After a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, top Congress leaders will deliberate on party losses at a meeting of the working committee slated on Saturday in which party chief Rahul Gandhi is likely to offer his resignation.
Murmurs have already started within the party over taking responsibility for the poor performance of the Congress across the country, with some of its leaders already sending in their resignations.
Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar and Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik announced their resignations from the post in the wake of the party's electoral debacle in their respective states.
According to sources, the party has convened a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, its highest decision making body, at 11 AM on Saturday. Rahul Gandhi is likely to offer his resignation at the meet, party sources said.
The top Congress leadership will deliberate on the reasons for the loss and assess them. The party suffered a loss for the second time in a row at the hands of the Narendra Modi led BJP. It bagged only 52 seats in this election.
Top party leaders, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, are expected to attend the meeting. There have already been voices within to introspect on why the party failed to reach out to the people.
In the wake of the Congress's dismal performance in the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, Raj Babbar sent his resignation to Rahul Gandhi after the party managed to win only the Rae Bareli constituency of Sonia Gandhi out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Rahul Gandhi himself lost in the politically crucial Amethi to senior BJP leader Smriti Irani.
Babbar, who contested from Fatehpur Sikri, was defeated by a margin of 4,95,065 votes by BJP's Rajkumar Chahar.
"The results are depressing for the Uttar Pradesh Congress. I find myself guilty of not discharging my responsibility in a proper manner," Babbar tweeted in Hindi.
"I will meet the leadership and apprise it of my views. Congratulations to the winners for winning the confidence of the people," he said.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said: ""I have sent my resignation to AICC President (Rahul Gandhi) owning moral responsibility for the party's poor show in both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.
"While the Congress faced defeat in the state, I too lost at the hustings," the Congress stalwart said.
Patnaik said "the party needs to take concrete steps to set the organisation in proper shape by getting rid of opportunists and attracting youths into its fold." He said that he had tried his best to bolster the party's poll prospects.
Patnaik said a committee, headed by senior leader Narasingha Mishra, has been set up to ascertain the reasons behind the drubbing suffered by the Congress in Odisha.
Congress won only one Lok Sabha seat and nine assembly seats in the eastern state. There are also reports that Karnataka H K Patil, who was tasked to oversee the Karnataka Congress campaign in December, has quit taking moral responsibility.