The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Friday urged Congress President Rahul Gandhi to not step down from the post and asserted that the party needed a “broad-minded person” like him. It likened Gandhi to Jawaharlal Nehru for his ideological stances, PTI reported.

In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Murasoli, the DMK said that Gandhi did not confine himself to only “electoral politics” during the run-up to the elections. It said he showed concern about the Indian society and spoke about religious hostility, economic inequalities and poverty among others.

The editorial said that Gandhi spoke about 20th-century social activist EV Ramasamy, also known as Periyar, and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, and “such aspects went beyond poll victories and defeats”.

“Rahul transcended,” the editorial said. “To be very precise, Rahul Gandhi reflected the thoughts [liberal ideological stand] of Jawaharlal Nehru.”

The editorial said that Congress was a broad-based party and to lead it, only a broad-minded person like Gandhi was needed.

The editorial added: “Rahul’s political journey should be about slogging from the grassroots level. If that is there, victory is possible.” It said Gandhi understood the difference in mindset between the southern and northern states in India.

Assuring Gandhi that it was usual to blame the Nehru-Gandhi family during poll debacles, the DMK said, “Many do not realise during times of success that it is the very same family which fetched victories for the Congress party.” In a similar manner, some people were trying to place the blame on Gandhi for the Congress party’s defeat, the editorial said.

This comes three days after DMK chief MK Stalin had called up the Gandhi and had asked him to not resign.

At the Congress Working Committee meeting held on May 25, Gandhi had offered to resign, but this was rejected by the committee. 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 and got a second straight term in power.

Gandhi had described himself as “100% responsible” for the party’s defeat.

Two days later, reports said that he had refused to withdraw his resignation and urged party colleagues to look for a new chief. 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 also said Gandhi’s offer to step down from the post will be suicidal for the Congress.