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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

CWC not meeting anytime soon, says Congress amid Rahul Gandhi’s insistence on quitting

Reeling under the impact of poll debacle, Rahul Gandhi insisted on quitting the post at the CWC meeting but the Committee rejected the offer in one voice and instead asked him to overhaul and restructure the organisation.

india Updated: May 28, 2019 11:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi with her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi with her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.(AP file photo)
         

The Congress on Tuesday denied reports that the party’s highest decision making body, its Working Committee, was meeting soon amid party president Rahul Gandhi’s insistence on quitting following a numbing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

“There is no such plan, such reports are baseless,” said KC Venugopal, general secretary in-charge of organisation and the person responsible for calling CWC meetings. Another senior Congress leader, not wishing to be named, also denied any move to call a CWC.

Reeling under the impact of poll debacle, which saw Narendra Modi-led NDA storming to power with 352 seats, Rahul Gandhi insisted on quitting the post at the CWC meeting held on May 25 but the Committee rejected the offer in one voice and instead asked him to overhaul and restructure the organisation. Though the party rejected this suggestion, Gandhi is sticking to his stand amid a series of resignations by state unit chiefs.

The CWC was followed by intense speculation about the change of guard in the grand old party and senior leader Ahmed Patel meeting Gandhi reportedly to persuade him not to press for his exit from the post. However, Patel later said that he had gone to meet Rahul for routine administrative work.

“I had sought time before the CWC to meet the Congress President to discuss routine administrative work. The meeting today was in that context. All other speculation is incorrect and baseless,” Patel tweeted.

Meanwhile, Congress party chiefs of Jharkhand, Assam and Punjab resigned in addition to those from Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Karanataka Pradesh Campaign Committee chairman H. K. Patil has also resigned.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jhakar, who was the sitting MP from Gurdaspur, sent his resignation to Congress President Rahul Gandhi taking moral responsibility for losing to actor Sunny Deol from the seat. The Congress has generally done well in Punjab winning eight of 13 seats.

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Jharkhand Congress chief Ajoy Kumar has also tendered his resignation. The party won only one seat in the state where it had an alliance with the JMM, RJD and other parties.

While the party won Singhbhum seat, it lost Khunti by only 1,445 votes and Lohardaga by 10,363 votes.

The party’s Assam unit chief Ripun Bora also wrote to Gandhi taking moral responsibility for the party not being able to increase its tally from its previous tally of three seats. He has said in his letter that Gandhi may choose to replace him.

Maharashtra unit chief Ashok Chavan, Uttar Pradesh unit chief Raj Babbar, and Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik have already sent their resignations.

Yogendra Misra, the district Congress chief in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh has also sent his resignation, owning moral responsibility for Rahul Gandhi’s defeat from Amethi.

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First Published: May 28, 2019 09:50 IST

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