Kisan Congress President Nana Patole, who lost the Lok Sabha elections to Union minister Nitin Gadkari in Maharashtra’s Nagpur constituency, and 36 office-bearers of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee resigned on Saturday after taking moral responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported.
This came a day after several Congress leaders resigned from their posts to give party President Rahul Gandhi a free hand to choose a new team.
“Rahul Gandhi is firm on not withdrawing his resignation as Congress president,” Patole tweeted on Saturday evening. “Loss is a collective responsibility. Hence, I am resigning from the post of chairman of Kisan Congress-FAICC and dismissing Kisan Congress body. We are in the interest of the nation standing with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party.”
A few hours later, Uttar Pradesh Congress’ Senior Vice President Ranjit Singh Judev, General Secretary Aradhna Mishra Mona, Vice President RP Tripathi and 10 other leaders resigned from their posts after taking moral responsibility for the election debacle, ANI reported.
Media Coordinator Rajiv Bakshi, Joint Media Coordinator Piyush Mishra, and party leaders Onkar Nath Singh, Amarnath Agarwal and Mukesh Singh Chauhan, Priyanka Gupta and Ashok Singh also quit their posts. An unidentified senior party told PTI that more resignations were likely in the state party unit.
The party committee in Uttar Pradesh has 100 members. The state sends 80 parliamentarians, the most in the country, to the Lok Sabha. The National Democratic Alliance won 64 seats in the battleground state while the sole Congress winner was Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli. The only other Congress MP from 2014 – her son and party chief Rahul Gandhi – lost family bastion Amethi to Union minister Smriti Irani.
Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar sent his resignation to Rahul Gandhi on May 24, a day after the election results were announced.
On Friday, working presidents of Delhi and Telangana Pradesh Congress committees, General Secretary in charge of Madhya Pradesh Deepak Babaria, All India Congress Committee secretaries Virender Rathore, Anil Choudhury and Rajesh Dharmani, and Foreign Cell Secretary Virender Vashist resigned. The day before, Congress leader Vivek Tankha had quit as the party’s chairperson for law and Right to Information cell.
The flurry of resignations has put the party in a crisis. Rahul Gandhi offered to step down as Congress president on May 25 after the party won only 52 out of 543 parliamentary seats. Though the Congress Working Committee unanimously rejected his resignation, Gandhi has remained firm on his decision. Several top leaders have urged Gandhi to continue but he is reportedly unfazed.