Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi has said party chief Rahul Gandhi should go on a padayatra (walking tour) of the country to connect with people, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday. Gandhi should not resign as Congress president, he added.
“As a concerned Congressman, I feel Rahul should not resign as it would be playing in the BJP’s hand,” Singhvi said. “I believe he should consider a 90 or 180-day-long train [tour]-cum-padayatra. It will certainly help in better connection with people.”
Singhvi’s remarks came days after the Congress won just 52 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, won 303 seats, and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance 352 constituencies.
Gandhi had offered to resign at a Congress Working Committee meeting on Saturday following the party’s debacle, but the panel rejected the offer. However, the Congress president is said to be sticking to his decision.
At the meeting, Gandhi had also lashed out at three senior leaders – former Union minister P Chidambaram, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot – for allegedly putting their sons above the party’s interest.
Singhvi also called for introducing age limits for appointments to key party posts. “Posts such as general secretaries or CWC membership cannot be ornamental ones,” the Congress leader said. “People in these posts must bring value. At least 40% to 50% of these leaders must be changed.” Singhvi said far from resigning, Gandhi should get a free hand to “redesign” the Congress with new faces.