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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan offers to resign for Lok Sabha poll debacle

Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, who lost the Lok Sabha elections from Nanded, said he has submitted his resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday.

india Updated: May 27, 2019 10:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram with Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan (left) during a press conference, in Mumbai, Saturday, April 27, 2019.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram with Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan (left) during a press conference, in Mumbai, Saturday, April 27, 2019. (PTI)
         

Amid clamour for the complete restructuring of the grand old party following the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections, Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan has offered to step down from the post.

Chavan, who lost the Lok Sabha elections from Nanded, said he has submitted his resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday. Chavan’s offer came on the day the Congress Working Committee (CWC) authorised Gandhi to overhaul and restructure the party organisation following the poll debacle.

Prior to this, three senior Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka had sent in their resignations to Gandhi owning responsibility for the party’s dismal performance.

Uttar Pradesh chief Raj Babbar offered to resign after the Congress won only the Rae Bareli constituency of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi in the state that sends 80 lawmakers to Parliament. Babbar, who contested from Fatehpur Sikri, also lost by a margin of nearly 5 lakh votes to BJP’s Raj Kumar Chahar.

HK Patil, who was tasked to oversee the Karnataka Congress campaign in December, also put in his papers. Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik too offered to step down from his post after the Congress won just 9 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat. Patnaik had lost the 2 assembly seats he contested; his son also lost a Lok Sabha seat.

Chavan said the poll defeat was a “collective responsibility” and not that of Gandhi alone. There was no question of accepting Gandhi’s resignation as party chief.

At Saturday’s meeting, Gandhi had offered resignation and asked the CWC to elect a new chief but it unanimously rejected the offer and passed a resolution, authorising him to revamp the organisation.