Congress workers on Wednesday held a hunger strike outside party chief Rahul Gandhi’s residence in new Delhi, in an attempt to convince him not to resign. The police detained the protestors but they were released soon after, PTI reported.

Among the party workers were boxer-turned-politician Vijender Singh and Delhi Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Vijay Jatan. Those present said Gandhi should take his resignation back because the party needs his leadership.

Senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit also said she plans to lead a group of Congress workers near Gandhi’s residence to persuade him. “We are going near the residence of Rahul Gandhi to demonstrate there and convey our feelings that he should not resign,” the three-time chief minister of Delhi told ANI. “We are absolutely against it as the party will suffer a very huge loss and we do not want that to happen. We are going there to plead and tell him please don’t do this.”

Karnataka Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy also said the Congress chief should not quit. “I will meet him tomorrow and speak to him. He should not resign,” he said, according to ANI.

On Tuesday, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi suggested that Gandhi should go on a padayatra (walking tour) of the country to connect with people. “As a concerned Congressman, I feel Rahul should not resign as it would be playing into the BJP’s hands,” Singhvi said.

At the Congress Working Committee meeting held on May 25, Gandhi had offered to resign as the party president, which was rejected by the committee. Two days later, reports said that he had refused to withdraw his resignation and urged party colleagues to look for a new chief.

However, the panel has asked Gandhi to undertake a complete makeover and detailed restructuring of the party at every level, instead of quitting his post. This came after the Congress party was able to secure only 52 of the 542 seats – in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections – eight seats more than it won in 2014.