New Delhi: Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states met party President Rahul Gandhi on Monday and urged him not to insist on his stepping down from the post and gave him a carte blanche on revamp in the party in the wake of debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.
Expressing confidence that Gandhi would take a "positive" decision on their request, the chief ministers, however, parried questions on whether they offered to resign from their posts taking responsibility for the defeat during the meeting.
"It was a cordial meeting which lasted for at least two hours. We shared with him (Rahul Gandhi) what every supporter, worker or leader of the party feels. We tried to make him understand that victory or defeat happens in elections.
He listened to us attentively and we hope that he will understand us and will make a positive decision. The entire Working Committee has authorised Rahul Gandhi to take any decisions whether he wants to revamp or do replacements within the party," Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told reporters in the company of other chief ministers on their meeting with Gandhi.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy were the other chief ministers who were part of the two-hour long meeting with Gandhi. AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal was also present in the meeting.
Speaking on behalf of the chief ministers, Gehlot voiced the hope that Gandhi will make a positive decision on their request.
He said the Congress Working Committee (CWC) had earlier authorised the Congress chief to take any decision related to revamping or carrying out replacements within the party.
He parried a question whether the Chief Ministers will tender their resignations or not. "No. Everything was decided when the CWC meeting was held. The entire Working Committee has authorised Rahul Gandhi to take any decisions whether he wants to revamp or do replacements within the party," he said.
"Resignations are put in the day results come out, Chief Ministers have to offer their resignations and then high command takes the decision on what to do next," Gehlot said when asked on reports that he and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath offered to resign in meeting with Rahul.
Ahead of the meeting, Gehlot asserted that only Gandhi can lead the party in the current scenario.
Gandhi, who became the party president in 2017, offered to step down from his post at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on May 25, taking moral responsibility for the Congress' abysmal performance in the 17th Lok Sabha Elections.
However, his resignation offer was unanimously rejected by the CWC. So far, several top leaders have met Gandhi and urged him to continue to lead the party.
Despite senior members making serious attempts to convince the 49-year-old party chief to rethink his decision, he has remained unfazed.
The Congress won 52 seats in the recent general elections, which is just eight more than what the party won in 2014 polls.
Meanwhile, Congress workers sat on hunger strike outside party headquarters, urging Gandhi to take back his resignation from the post of party president....