Urged Not To Quit, What Rahul Gandhi Told HD Kumaraswamy

HD Kumaraswamy, who met with Rahul Gandhi before attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand oath ceremony, urged him to not to quit but Rahul Gandhi remained firm, say sources.

HD Kumaraswamy urged Rahul Gandhi to reconsider his decision to quit as Congress chief

New Delhi:

Rahul Gandhi made it clear he would not continue as Congress president to Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who called on him on Thursday and urged him to reconsider, say sources.

Mr Kumaraswamy, who met with the Congress chief before attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand oath ceremony, urged him to not to quit but Rahul Gandhi remained firm, say sources. He reportedly said the Congress should pick a new president but that he would not go away and would help the next chief.

Rahul Gandhi has been adamant on resigning since Saturday, when he told the Congress Working Committee that a non-Gandhi should be chosen for the job after the party's national election disaster. The party has called a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party tomorrow to decide who will lead it in parliament.

The Congress won just 52 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha and was wiped out in 18 states and union territories in the national election. Since its drubbing, the party is facing threats to its governments in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, where it has a razor thin majority and the BJP is only a few defections short of taking over.

The Karnataka Chief Minister reportedly assured Rahul Gandhi that their alliance was "working better together" after its shock defeat in the national election.

Sources say Mr Kumaraswamy told Rahul Gandhi that the Janata Dal-Congress coalition is Karnataka, perceived to be on the brink of collapse, was actually stabilizing after the partners could win only two of the state's 28 seats. The BJP won the rest.

Soon after the results, dissent broke out within the one-year-old JDS-Congress alliance with rebel Congress members looking ready to cross over to the BJP in a coup attempt.

The Kumaraswamy government has been debating a cabinet shuffle to placate angry lawmakers threatening to exit.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress is seen to be the chief troublemaker in the scheme of things. His rift with top Congress leaders in the state has left the coalition struggling with incessant rebellion.

Mr Kumaraswamy reportedly told Rahul Gandhi that Mr Siddaramaiah was cooperating with the government.

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