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Cong workers gather outside Rahul's home urging him not to resign

Source: PTI
May 29, 2019 20:56 IST
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Congress workers gathered outside party chief Rahul Gandhi's residence on Wednesday urging him to withdraw his offer to resign.

IMAGE: Congress party supporters seen outside the residence of party President Rahul Gandhi, in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit visited Gandhi's Tughlak Lane residence. After coming out, she remained silent on whether she was able to meet the Gandhi scion.

Sources said she could not meet Rahul Gandhi.

 

A close aide of the Delhi Congress chief said Dikshit left a message for the Congress president in which she asked Gandhi to withdraw his offer to resign.

"Gandhi is not meeting any party leaders. So, Dikshit left her message urging Gandhi to reconsider his decision in the interest of the party with K Raju, a confidante of the party chief," the close aide added.

Boxer Vijender Singh, who had fought the Lok Sabha polls from the South Delhi constituency and ended up at the third spot said workers do not want Rahul Gandhi to resign as he is an 'able and hardworking' leader.

IMAGE: Members of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee led by K S Azhagiri participate in a rally to urge Rahul to take back his resignation, in Chennai, on Wednesday. Photograph: PTI Photo

"He has not resigned. We have come to talk to him. He has made an offer to resign but people do not want him to go.

"He has worked hard. If the results are not in our favour, it hurts but we are fighters. Nobody else can work like him. He is a leader who takes everyone together," Singh said.

Slogans of 'Rahul ji, we are with you' and 'Please do not resign' rang through the air.

Several workers were carrying placards with Gandhi's photos urging him not to resign.

Some workers were even demanding that elections be held again in a fair manner with ballot papers instead of EVMs since the latter could have been tampered.

Congress leader Jagdish Tytler said there are millions of Congress workers who do not want Gandhi to resign.

IMAGE: Senior Congress leader Sheila Dixit after a meeting with party President Rahul Gandhi, at the latter's residence, in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

"We had to be here because we do not want him to resign. There are millions of Congress workers who do not want him to resign. We are disappointed with the results but not with the leadership," he said.

The crisis in the Congress showed no signs of easing with Gandhi sticking to his decision to resign as party chief after its Lok Sabha poll debacle and staying away from meeting party leaders.

On Tuesday, Gandhi had only met his mother and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, besides senior party leader K C Venugopal and the Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot went to meet Gandhi at his Tughlaq Lane residence on Tuesday, but they only met Priyanka.

IMAGE: Congress leader Jagdish Tytler addresses the media outside Gandhi's residence on Wednesday. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

Senior Congress leaders have been pressing Gandhi to take back his decision to resign and revamp the party at all levels in these challenging times.

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Cong will analyse reasons behind people electing BJP in Rajasthan: Pilot

Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot said on Wednesday that the party will analyse the reasons behind people electing the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha election just a few months after the Congress formed a government in the state.

He said Congress president Rahul Gandhi himself has humbly accepted the people's mandate but the state leadership will analyse the reasons for the defeat to see where the changes have to be made and what action needs to be taken.

Pilot has asked party leaders and workers to start a mass contact programme across the state to connect with the people after the massive drubbing it received in the polls.

"We have accepted the people's mandate humbly. Even the Congress president has accepted it. But we will analyse and study the reasons behind people electing the BJP, four to five months after the Congress formed a government in Rajasthan," he told reporters after the party's executive meeting in Jaipur.

"Congress will definitely introspect it to see where changes and action are required. It will be our effort that Congress gain further strength," he said.

Pilot said the Congress accepted defeat in the general elections but it was not the first or the last election.

"I have asked the PCC members to start a mass contact programme in cities, towns, villages and hamlets across the state with immediate effect for connecting people with the Congress party," he said.

"This was not the first and the last election. We will again go among the masses and win people's heart. Congress is ruling the state and our government will fulfil all the expectations of people," the deputy chief minister said in Jaipur.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Congress executive committee endorsed the resolution passed by Congress Working Committee (CWC) on May 25, requesting the Congress president to continue extending his effective leadership.

"We all have requested the party president to continue leading us. He is authorised to do whatever changes he wants to do in the organisation," Pilot said.

It was the first meeting of the party's state unit after the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls in which the party could not win even a single seat out of the total 25 seats in the state.

The BJP won 24 and its alliance partner won one seat in the state.

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Will request Rahul to continue: Kumaraswamy

Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday he would request Rahul Gandhi to continue as Congress president during his visit to New Delhi to attend Narendra Modi's swearing-in as prime minister.

Kumaraswamy joins the bandwagon of other leaders, including M K Stalin (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and Lalu Prasad (Rashtriya Janata Dal), who have urged Gandhi to not quit.

"I will request him (Rahul) to continue. Tomorrow I will be meeting him," Kumaraswamy told reporters when asked about Gandhi's decision to resign as Congress president after the Lok Sabha poll washout.

According to the chief minister's schedule for Thursday, Kumaraswamy will participate in the swearing-in ceremony of the prime minister and the council of ministers at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at 7 pm. However, his return has been kept open.

The ongoing political developments in the state after the ruling Congress-JD(S) rout in the Lok Sabha polls and efforts to save the government are likely to figure during the talks with Gandhi.

The state Congress unit, too, has urged Gandhi to lead the party.

'I urge Sri @RahulGandhi to withdraw your offer to resign. You lead (sic) from the front, fought a clean battle, spoke about peoples issues and highlighted the failures of the Modi govt,' state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted.

"We may have lost but we believe in your leadership. India needs you."

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