Ashok Gehlot Proposes, Rahul Gandhi Disposes: Congress' Leadership Woes May Not be Resolved Anytime Soon
File photo of Rahul Gandhi with Ashok Gehlot.
The party chief’s denial came just ahead of a meeting of Congress chief ministers with Gandhi to not only discuss his decision to quit but also brainstorm over the dismal performance of the grand old party.
- Last Updated: July 1, 2019, 16:14 IST
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New Delhi: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has shot down veteran party leader Ashok Gehlot’s request that he continue as party chief, saying he has made his decision clear.
Gandhi’s statement came after the Rajasthan Chief Minister took to Twitter on Monday to voice his opinion.
"All Chief Ministers of Congress ruled states will be meeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi today at his residence to show our solidarity. Earlier also we all have stated that we are with honourable CP and we own the responsibility of the 2019 debacle," Gehlot wrote. "We firmly believe that only he can lead the party in the current scenario, his commitment towards well being of our country and countrymen is un-compromised and unmatched."
Gehlot said the 2019 election was not a defeat of the programmes, policies and ideology of the Congress. He said it was unfortunate that the BJP managed to hide its "huge failures" behind "fanatic nationalism" and with the help of enormous resources of the government machinery.
Only the Congress president, he said, did his best to make it an issue based election and took the BJP head on.
The party chief’s denial came just ahead of a meeting with Congress chief ministers to not only discuss his decision to quit but also brainstorm over the dismal performance of the grand old party in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, especially in the Hindi heartland states where it won three assembly elections last December.
Gehlot, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy will be present at the meeting with Gandhi. Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara is also likely to attend.
Gandhi, who became the party president in 2017, had on May 25 offered to step down from his post at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, taking moral responsibility for the party’s abysmal performance in the Lok Sabha elections. He had also lamented that Nath and Gehlot had preferred to keep the interests of their sons over those of the party.
While the Congress has rejected his proposal, Gandhi has been adamant about his wish to quit. The move has sparked a domino effect, with several leaders tendering their resignation.
Gandhi had said he took the decision to ensure accountability for the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle and there was no question of going back. “I have resigned after taking full responsibility and ensuring accountability for the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. I cannot ask others to resign too. It is up to them if they want to take responsibility," he had said.
But sources say the Congress chief has privately expressed anger with many leaders who continue to stay on in their positions.