Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot owned responsibility for the party's poor showing in the state in the national election today, hours before Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states were to meet Rahul Gandhi. After the meeting, Mr Gehlot said Rahul Gandhi has listened to them carefully "and now he will decide on it... we hope there will be a positive decision".
In a series of tweets earlier, Mr Gehlot he also said only Rahul Gandhi can "lead the party in the current scenario, his commitment towards well being of our country and countrymen is un-compromised and unmatched".
Mr Gandhi had announced his intention to step down from the post of the party chief last month, two days after the results of the national election was declared. At a meeting later, he also expressed unhappiness about senior leaders and Chief Ministers who fielded their sons in the election and confined themselves to their campaign, instead of working for the party campaign across the state.
Ashok Gehlot was one of the alleged offenders and the party, barely six months after wresting Rajasthan from the BJP, failed to win even one of the state's 25 Lok Sabha seats.
Mr Gehlot, whose supporters had fought back, claiming he had only given only a fraction of his time to his son, tweeted: "All Chief Ministers of Congress ruled states will be meeting Hon'ble Congress President Sh. #RahulGandhi today at his residence to show our solidarity. Earlier also we all have stated that we are with Hon'ble CP and we own the responsibility of the 2019 debacle."
In another tweet, he said:
The 2019 election was not a defeat of program, policy and ideology of the Congress. Although, it was very unfortunate to see that despite the failure of Modi government on various fronts including the depleting economy,— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) July 1, 2019
BJP did manage to hide their huge failures behind their fanatic nationalism wd help of enormous resources n govt machinery at hand. But,in spite all odds,it's no secret how amidst opposition,only Congress Prez did his best to make it an issue based election n took BJP head on— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) July 1, 2019
Mr Gandhi has been sticking to his decision to step down and for a while, had confined himself to his house. But lately, with elections due in four states, he has started engaging with the state leaders.
Today, he met several the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, including Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, all the five Loksabha candidates.
The leaders discussed the upcoming assembly polls in the state along with the reasons for party's poor performance in the recently held Lok Sabha elections. The leaders have also urged Mr Gandhi to continue as the party chief.