Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi should proceed with his decision to resign from his post or “he will lose further in public estimation”.
Sinha, who was a long-time member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, also suggested that Congress should be run by a “presidium”.
“If Rahul Gandhi does not stand firm on his resignation, he will lose further in public estimation,” Sinha wrote on Twitter. “Let the party be run by a presidium or any other arrangement at least for some time.”
Gandhi has reportedly been adamant on resigning from his post following the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. His party was able to secure only 52 of the 542 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections – eight seats more than it won in 2014. The BJP won 303 out of 542 seats to get a second straight term in power.
On Thursday, the Congress said that it has decided not to send representatives to debates on television channels for a month.
At the Congress Working Committee meeting held on May 25, Gandhi had offered to resign, 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. Several senior Congress leaders, including former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, have urged Gandhi not to quit. Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth suggested that Rahul Gandhi should not quit as the Congress president and said he “should prove he can do it”. Rashtriya Janata Dal President Lalu Prasad Yadav had said Congress Gandhi’s offer to step down from the post will be suicidal for the party.
On Wednesday, the Congress invited “like-minded parties” to attend a meeting on Friday, The Indian Express reported. A meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party will be held on Saturday, likely to elect its president and the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, the newspaper reported citing sources. Gandhi is said to be willing to represent the party in the Lower House.
This is not the first time Sinha has used Twitter to offer advice to Opposition parties. In March, he had urged Rahul Gandhi to finalise the Congress’s alliances in Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi and elsewhere, as it was “already too late”. He also told Opposition leaders to “stop speaking against each other in public” and sort out their differences privately.