Days after Rahul Gandhi quit as the Congress president and asked the party to look for his successor, several leaders of the party, who stood “in solidarity” with his decision, tendered their resignation too.
Gandhi took to Twitter Wednesday and announced his resignation with a four-page note, ending weeks of speculation around him continuing at the helm of affairs withing the party. He took the responsibility for the disastrous performance of the party in the recently held Lok Sabha elections.
Here’s a list of Congress members who have tendered their resignations in the days that followed:
UP West General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia tendered his resignation to Rahul Gandhi Sunday over the loss in the Lok Sabha elections. Scindia took to Twitter and wrote, “Accepting the people’s verdict and taking accountability, I had submitted my resignation as General Secretary of AICC to Shri @RahulGandhi. I thank him for entrusting me with this responsibility and for giving me the opportunity to serve our party.”
Asserting that with responsibility there comes accountability too, Scindia said, “I am not a leader who gives orders to others. Even I am responsible if performance isn’t good and therefore, I took the decision to resign.” Scindia was incharge of UP West during the parliamentary elections in which the party was routed by the BJP. Congress could retain just one seat in Rae Bareilly while also losing its stronghold of Amethi under Rahul Gandhi to BJP’s Smriti Irani.
Earlier in the day, Mumbai Congress president Milind Deora resigned from his post, saying he was looking forward to playing a role at the national level to help stabilise the party. Deora, who had contested elections from Mumbai-South constituency, lost to Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant. While tendering his resignation, Deora also recommended setting up of a provisional collective leadership consisting of three senior party leaders to oversee the party unit until Maharashtra assembly polls which are due later this year.
Deora, who was appointed as Mumbai party chief on the eve of Lok Sabha polls amid infighting within the unit, further said, “I had accepted MRCC presidentship in the interest of uniting the party. I felt I should also resign after meeting Rahul Gandhi.”
On Thursday, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and general secretary in-charge of Assam Harish Rawat tendered his resignation after taking responsibility for the party’s defeat in the elections. Rawat took to Twitter to announce his decision. He wrote, “We the office bearers of the Congress are responsible for the party’s defeat and organisational failure. I am responsible for the below-expected result of the party in Assam as in-charge of the state. I accept my shortcoming and resign as general secretary in-charge of the state.”
The former Uttarakhand chief minister also said that for people like him, posts were not important, but a leader like Gandhi, who inspired the workers should continue to lead the party.
“If the leadership remains in his hand, it is possible that he could lead the party to victory in 2022 assembly elections in states and also in 2024 Lok Sabha elections to defeat the BJP and Narendra Modi. That is why all democratic forces and Congress workers want to see Rahul Gandhi as Congress president,” he added.
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar also tendered his resignation after the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections. However, there was no word on the acceptance of his resignation from the high command. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and other party MLAs had passed a resolution in a meeting urging the high command to not accept Jakhar’s resignation.
Though Jakhar, who was defeated by actor Sunny Deol from Gurdaspur, stayed away from the political scene in state, he had been signing a few bills of PPCC including the salary of party’s employees in the office.
Days after the results of Lok Sabha elections, taking “moral responsibility” for the loss of the party in Uttar Pradesh, UP Congress chief Raj Babbar tendered his resignation. The BJP won 62 out of the 80 seats in the state. Congress spokesperson Rajiv Bakshi said, “Babbar resigned after taking responsibility for the party’s poor show in the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh.”
However, when asked if his resignation was accepted, Bakshi said, “A decision on whether to accept his resignation will be taken at the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi in the coming days.”
Babbar took to Twitter and wrote in Hindi, “Congratulations to the winners for gaining the confidence of people. The results are disappointing for the Uttar Pradesh Congress. I hold myself responsible for not being able to complete the responsibility assigned to me. I will talk to the leadership regarding this.”
Congress’ farmer wing leader from Maharashtra Nana Patole too quit as the Kisan Congress chief. In the Lok Sabha elections, Patole had lost to BJP’s Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur seat. He tweeted, “Rahul Gandhi is firm on not withdrawing his resignation as Congress president. Loss is a collective responsibility. Hence, I am resigning from the post of chairman of Kisan Congress- AICC and dismissing Kisan Congress body. We are in the interest of the nation standing with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party.”
Apart from these prominent names, at least one AICC general secretary, Madhya Pradesh in-charge Deepak Babaria and Goa State Congress president Girish Chodankar, resigned hours after some 300 leaders converged at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi in solidarity with Rahul’s decision to step down.
At a party meeting, AICC secretaries Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Rajesh Dharmani, Virender Singh Rathore, Working Presidents of Delhi and Telangana Congress Rajesh Lilothia and Ponnam Prabhakar, Haryana Mahila Congress president Sumitra Chouhan and Mahila Congress general secretary Netta D’Souza, were among the many who signed a symbolic joint resignation letter which said “I would like to immediately resign from my post in respect and honour of Rahul Gandhi.”