Congress Leaders Meet Rahul Amid Leadership Crisis; Lalu Terms Resignation ‘Suicidal’

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Jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday advised Congress President Rahul Gandhi to not resign from the post calling his offer “suicidal”.

NEW DELHI (IANS) — Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his Deputy Sachin Pilot, and General Secretaries K.C. Venugopal and Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday met party President Rahul Gandhi amid a leadership crisis following the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections.

Spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala also met Rahul Gandhi at the latter’s residence. Gehlot arrived after Pilot had left.

Details of their discussions were not immediately known.

Gandhi had offered to quit as the party President at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Saturday but it was unanimously rejected.

The CWC, the party’s top decision making body, authorised Rahul Gandhi to make structural changes in the country’s oldest political party.

But party sources maintained that Rahul Gandhi was firm on quitting, triggering concern in the party that has always worked under the Nehru-Gandhi umbrella.

Priyanka Gandhi first arrived at Rahul Gandhi’s residence in the morning followed by Surjewala and Venugopal. Pilot reached the residence some time later.

After separate meetings with Rahul Gandhi which lasted for over 50 minutes, Pilot, Venugopal and Surjewala left.

Gehlot then reached the Gandhi residence.

On Monday, Gandhi had declined to meet Gehlot despite an appointment and asked him to meet Venugopal instead.

Congress Uttar Pradesh leader Pramod Tiwari also met Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress is expected to call another CWC meeting within the next four days.

Rahul Gandhi had blamed Gehlot and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath for devoting more time in the constituencies of their sons instead of doing more for the party in the elections in which the Congress won just 52 Lok Sabha seats.

Rahul’s offer to resign is suicidal: Lalu

Hours ahead of a review meeting to discuss the RJD-led Grand Alliance’s routed in the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday advised Congress President Rahul Gandhi to not resign from the post calling his offer “suicidal”.

“Rahul’s offer to resign is suicidal. Opposition parties had the common goal to dislodge BJP but failed to build a national narrative. The result in a particular election can never alter the reality in as diverse and plural a country as India,” said Lalu Prasad in a tweet.

The RJD President, who is undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Ranchi after being convicted in fodder scam cases, was reportedly disturbed for last few days after his party’s poll rout in Bihar and Jharkhand.

However, he asked Rahul Gandhi to “continue to lead the Congress”.

Lalu Prasad said that if the Congress appointed a non-Gandhi as its president, it would be accused of being a Gandhi family “puppet”. “Why should Rahul give such an opportunity to his political rivals?” he said.

Referring to the humiliating defeat of the Opposition parties in the elections, the RJD leader said the opposition should admit that the resounding victory of the Modi government was its collective failure and should introspect on what went wrong.

 

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