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Congress chief Rahul Gandhi holds talks with Sharad Pawar, HD Kumaraswamy

The meetings come ahead of the Congress parliamentary party meeting on June 1, where the newly elected party lawmakers will elect their new leader.

india Updated: May 31, 2019 00:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
HD Kumaraswamy,Sharad Pawar,Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi meets Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy at 12 Tughlak Lane, in New Delhi, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Two key allies on Thursday urged Rahul Gandhi against stepping down as the Congress chief following his party’s drubbing in the national elections in which it managed to get just 52 out of the 542 seats.

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar urged Gandhi to reconsider his offer to resign as the two met in New Delhi. Gandhi drove to Pawar’s residence, where the two leaders discussed the political situation after the BJP’s return to power with a bigger mandate, according to people aware of the developments. The two discussed the strategy the Opposition should adopt in Parliament especially after the Congress has again failed to qualify for the post of the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha. To get the LoP status, a party should get 55 out of the 543 Lok Sabha members.

Earlier in the day, Karnataka chief minister and JD (S) leader H D Kumaraswamy called on Gandhi at his residence in presence of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi. “I have requested Rahul Gandhi not to step down from his post,” Kumaraswamy told reporters after the meeting. Kumaraswamy apprised Rahul Gandhi about the political developments in Karnataka, where the Congress-JD (S) government has a wafer-thin majority. Rahul Gandhi also met former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The meetings come ahead of the Congress parliamentary party meeting on June 1, where the newly elected party lawmakers will elect their new leader. Separately, a meeting of the opposition leaders slated for Friday has been cancelled.

First Published: May 30, 2019 22:27 IST