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‘Shouldn’t resign’, says Sheila Dikshit as ‘Rahul don’t quit’ chorus gets louder

Rahul Gandhi said at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Saturday that he had decided to step down as party president, a post he took over from his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in 2017.

india Updated: May 29, 2019 18:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit had said earlier that the party has bounced back in the past from challenging circumstances to triumph.(PTI file photo)

Senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday in her effort to stop him from resigning. Senior Congress leaders and allies have been trying to persuade Rahul Gandhi to continue to lead the party that is struggling after a crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

“I have given him the message that he should not resign. We want him to continue on his post, otherwise it will cause us pain. We have conveyed that to him,” Sheila Dikshit was quoted as saying by news agency ANI after the meeting

Sheila Dikshit led a group of Congress workers to the 12, Tughlaq Lane house of Rahul Gandhi to meet him to persuade him to change his mind.

Rahul Gandhi said at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Saturday that he had decided to step down as party president, a post he took over from his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in 2017.

Also Read | ‘Rahul Gandhi should not resign’: Now, HD Kumaraswamy urges Congress president

Gandhi has stayed firm on his decision to quit after the poll debacle despite several party leaders’ urgings to reconsider his decision. The party won only 52 Lok Sabha seats and its governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan face an uncertain future.

“We are going to be near the residence of Rahul Gandhi and will demonstrate there to convey our feelings that he should not resign. The party will suffer a very heavy loss which we don’t want. We are going there to plead with him to not do this,” Sheila Dikshit was quoted as saying by ANI.

WATCH | ‘Won’t let Rahul Gandhi quit as Congress pres’: Sheila Dikshit

The Delhi Congress chief had said earlier that the party has bounced back in the past from challenging circumstances to triumph.

“Under the dynamic leadership of Indira Gandhi, the Congress party fought back from the setback in the 1977 Lok Sabha elections to wrest power two-and-a-half years later, and the party remained in power for several years thereafter,” Dikshit said in a statement.

Also Read | Sheila Dikshit appeals to Rahul Gandhi to withdraw his decision to quit as party chief

Delhi Congress was with Rahul Gandhi in this challenging time for the party, she said.

“There was no need for the Congress president and the party workers to get disheartened by the setbacks in the Lok Sabha elections,” she said, appealing Gandhi to withdraw his decision to step down as party president.

The Congress was routed in Delhi by the BJP, which won all the seven Lok Sabha seats in the Capital with huge margins. The Congress, however, managed to replace the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as runners up on five of the seven seats.

Dikshit too lost to her BJP counterpart and sitting member of Parliament Manoj Tiwari by a margin of over 366,000 votes from North East Delhi.

The former chief minister said the Congress candidates finished second in five of the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi, and the party also came first in five assembly segments and second in 42 others.

Dikshit said the Congress workers will go to the people with a positive agenda to win back their trust and confidence, and the party will bounce back in the upcoming assembly elections in Delhi in 2020.

(with agency inputs)

First Published: May 29, 2019 15:34 IST