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3-min read

'We Expect Him to Agree to Our Request': Ashok Gehlot, Senior Leaders Urge Rahul Not to Step Down

Other than Gehlot, those who attended the meeting included Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy.​

News18.com

Updated:July 1, 2019, 10:39 PM IST
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'We Expect Him to Agree to Our Request': Ashok Gehlot, Senior Leaders Urge Rahul Not to Step Down
Other than Gehlot, those who attended the meeting included Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy.​
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New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday reiterated that party workers had urged Rahul Gandhi to reconsider his decision to step down as from the post of Congress president.

Gehlot's statement came after he and other chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states met Gandhi in Delhi.

“Rahul Gandhi heard us patiently and we expect him to agree to our request to continue as Congress chief,” Gehlot said. “It was a good meeting. We talked for around two hours and conveyed to him the feelings of party workers and leaders. We hope that he will pay heed to our views and do the right thing,” he added.

Gehlot said the chief ministers met Gandhi at his residence and analysed the Lok Sabha poll debacle, while taking moral responsibility for the party's defeat.

Sources said while the chief ministers of the five party-ruled states made a last effort to request Gandhi to continue as Congress chief, he reportedly told them that he has already conveyed his decision to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and would not relent.

On reports of him and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath resigning, Gehlot said,"Resignations are put in the day the results come out. Chief ministers have to offer their resignations, then the high command takes the decision on what to do next."

"In elections, victories and defeats happen. But the high command decides on future course of action. This issue has already been resolved as all chief ministers have offered their resignations at the meeting of Congress Working Committee on May 25," Gehlot said when asked about their offer to resign at the meeting. "The entire CWC had resigned and authorised Rahul Gandhi to bring about changes in the party. So this issue of resignation has already been resolved on May 25. It is no issue now."

Gehlot said the chief ministers felt that instead of doing issue-based politics concerning the common man, the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi "misled" the people by hiding behind patriotism and the armed forces as well as turning the election into a religious issue.

“Modi ji did politics hiding behind the Army, misled people in the name of religion. He didn't talk about development, economy and employment,” said the chief minister.

Other than Gehlot, those who attended the meeting included Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy.​

This was Gehlot's second such statement on Monday, urging Gandhi to continue as party chief. "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 on Twitter.

Before meeting Gandhi, 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.

Gandhi, who became the party president in 2017, has been adamant on stepping down from the post. Two days after the Lok Sabha election results were announced on May 23, signalling a stunning defeat for the party, Gandhi had offered to resign at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), taking moral responsibility for the party’s performance. He had also lamented that Nath and Gehlot had preferred to keep the interests of their sons over those of the party.

However, the CWC had rejected Gandhi's decision. Over the last month, several leaders have voiced their opinion and urged Gandhi to continue as party president.

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