The presidents of three more Congress state units have offered to resign from their posts after the party’s abysmal performance in the Lok Sabha elections. The chief of the Jharkhand unit resigned on Monday, while the heads of the Punjab Congress and the Assam Congress have offered to resign.
The presidents of the party’s Uttar Pradesh and Odisha units had already stepped down last week after the Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 out of 542 Lok Sabha seats to get a second straight term in power.
Jharkhand Congress President Ajoy Kumar quit on Monday, taking “moral responsibility” for the poor performance of the Congress in the General Elections in the state, the Hindustan Times reported. The BJP won 11 of the 14 seats in the state, while its ally All Jharkhand Students Union won one. The Congress, meanwhile, got just one seat in the state.
Kumar sent his resignation on May 24, a day after the election results, party spokesperson Alok Dubey said. “However, party’s performance was not that bad as we won Singhbhum comfortably and lost Khunti and Lohardaga by a wafer thin margin,” Dubey was quoted as saying. In Khunti, the Congress lost by 1,445 votes, while the margin in Lohardaga was 10,363 votes.
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar too resigned from his post after he lost to actor and BJP candidate Sunny Deol from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat this election, reported The Indian Express. Jakhar told the daily that he had submitted his papers three days ago but was yet to receive a response from the party. The Congress, however, did fairly well in Punjab. Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, it won nine.
But Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Jakhar’s resignation was unnecessary “given the impressive performance of the party in the state”, ANI reported.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Ripun Bora has also offered to resign, reported The Hindu. “Whatever may be the reason for this humiliating defeat of my party in Assam, my conscience doesn’t allow me to continue as president of Assam PCC,” he wrote in the letter on May 24. “In order to give a new look to the party and rejuvenate it, I think a new successor should be take immediately in my place.” The Congress won only three Lok Sabha seats in Assam.
Raj Babbar, the Congress’s Uttar Pradesh president, had sent his resignation to Rahul Gandhi on Friday. Babbar himself lost the election from the Fatehpur Sikri parliamentary constituency. “I find myself guilty of not discharging my responsibility in a proper manner,” he had tweeted. “I will meet the leadership and apprise it of my views.”
The party’s Karnataka campaign manager HK Patil and Odisha chief Niranjan Patnaik had also resigned after taking responsibility for the poor performance. The Congress won just one seat each in the two states.
Congress leader Yogendra Misra had also resigned as the president of the district committee in Amethi on Saturday after incumbent MP Rahul Gandhi lost to the BJP’s Smriti Irani. Gandhi, who lost by 55,120 votes, had been the Amethi MP since 2004.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi had himself offered to resign on Saturday but the party’s working committee unanimously rejected it and requested him to continue in the post. Gandhi took full responsibility for the party’s defeat as it won just 52 seats.