Rahul Gandhi, In Mood To Quit, Has Series Of Meetings In Delhi

Rahul Gandhi was adamant on quitting his post after Congress's 52-seat disaster in the election and loss in his stronghold Amethi.

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Rahul Gandhi, In Mood To Quit, Has Series Of Meetings In Delhi

"I have requested Rahul Gandhi not to step down from his post," HD Kumaraswamy said. (PTI)


New Delhi: 

Rahul Gandhi broke a self-imposed "ban" and met with leaders like Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and former prime minister Manmohan Singh in his first outing in four days. He held the meetings before attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi's oath ceremony.

The 48-year-old has met with KC Venugopal and Ahmed Patel but no other party leader since Saturday, when he told his party's top leaders that he would step down as Congress president over its national election drubbing.

Mr Kumaraswamy, who is leading the Janata Dal Secular-Congress alliance in Karnataka, was in Delhi to attend the oath ceremony of PM Modi.

"I met him. I have requested Rahul Gandhi not to step down from his post," the Karnataka Chief Minister said after a 20-minute meeting.

He also said he had assured the Congress chief that there was no threat to the Karnataka coalition government, which took power one year ago.

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Congress leaders said Sharad Pawar asked Rahul Gandhi to not quit the top post.

In the national election, the ruling alliance could win only two of Karnataka's 28 seats. The rest went to the BJP.

Since the election result, there has been speculation that the JDS-congress coalition will collapse and that several Congress leaders are ready to cross over to the BJP.

Rahul Gandhi also drove down to meet Maharashtra leader Sharad Pawar at his home in Delhi. In a photo, the Congress chief was seen chatting with Mr Pawar in a kurta and jeans.

Congress leaders said Mr Pawar had also urged Mr Gandhi not to quit his post. Both the leaders discussed the reasons for failure of the alliance and Congress party's poor performance. They have to take a decision whether to continue their alliance in the coming state elections.

Mr Pawar was in the Congress before he floated the Nationalist Congress Party in 1999. NCP is part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

At a post-mortem of the Congress's abysmal show, Rahul Gandhi told the Congress Working Committee, the party's top decision-making body, that he wanted to quit as party president and that the leaders should choose a non-Gandhi to helm the party.

Since then, Congress units across the country as also its leaders in Delhi have begged him to reconsider.

Rahul Gandhi also laid out his criticism of veteran leaders who, he said, had acted to protect their families at the cost of the party.

Besides the Congress's 52-seat disaster in the election, Rahul Gandhi also lost his traditional Amethi seat in Uttar Pradesh to the BJP's Smriti Irani. He won from the second seat he contested this time - Kerala's Wayanad.



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