Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao announced their resignations from their respective posts of Congress Legislature Party leader and state party chief on Monday, taking moral responsibility for the party's poor show in the assembly bypolls.
The Congress, which held 12 of the 15 seats where byelections were held on December 5, won only two, in a huge setback to the opposition party.
In a letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Siddaramaiah expressed his sincere regrets for not being able to give 'satisfactory results' in the byelections.
'I deem it necessary to step down as Leader of the CLP by taking moral responsibility,' he wrote.
'As a CLP leader, there is a need to uphold the democratic principles. In the interest of the party, I have tendered my resignation as the CLP leader,' Siddaramaiah told
The byelection was seen as much a litmus test for Siddaramaiah as it was for Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.
Rao also announced his decision to quit minutes after Siddaramaiah.
"Today I have decided to resign from this post. I have sent my resignation to our party (Interim) president Sonia Gandhi," Rao told reporters at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office.
Rao said he arrived at a conclusion soon after the exit poll results on December 5 showed landslide victory for the BJP in the byelections.
"I too owe a lot of moral and political responsibility. I had discussed with our Delhi based leaders about the poor prospects of our party in the byelection and that if something goes awry, I will have to take a decision accordingly," Rao said.