Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled States urged party chief Rahul Gandhi to continue in his post as he can only lead party today .
Mr. Gandhi made no indication about change in his original decision of stepping down. On May 25, Mr. Gandhi had informed the Congress Working Committee that he would step down as the party chief and his position was ‘non-negotiable’.
“It was a good meeting that lasted around two hours. We expressed our feelings and it was a heart-to-heart talk in detail. We conveyed and apprised him about the feelings of Congress workers across the country and urged him to continue to lead the party,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told reporters after the meeting.
Mr. Gehlot said the BJP managed to hide its “huge failures’ behind “fanatic nationalism” and the mandate was not a rejection of the Congress ideology.
The Rajasthan Chief Minister was accompanied by other Chief Ministers, Captain Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh), Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh) and V. Narayanasamy (Puducherry).
Inside the meeting, the sources said, the Chief Ministers argued why Mr. Gandhi should not step down at this juncture as the party needed his leadership in poll-bounds States Maharashtra and Haryana.
The open factional fights within the party especially in Haryana and Punjab were reportedly discussed. A source claimed that the tussle between Capt. Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu was ‘mentioned in passing’.
Sources claimed that the Chief Ministers took moral responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections but none confirmed if anyone had offered to resign from their post at the meeting.
“In elections, victories and defeats happen. A Chief Minister of an elected government should be ready to resign. The high command should decide what should be the next course of action. We had offered it to the CWC on May 25 itself,” Mr. Gehlot told reporters when asked if he or Mr. Nath had offered to resign and added that the CWC authorised Mr. Gandhi to ‘reconstitute’ or ‘replace’ anyone he deemed fit.