- Milind Deora said he decided to quit the post after meeting Rahul Gandhi
- He said he was looking forward to playing a national role in Congress
- He took over ahead of the general elections
Senior Congress leader Milind Deora resigned today as the chief of the party's Mumbai unit, making him the latest leader to own responsibility for the party's poor show in the national polls held earlier this year. The 42-year-old, who took over ahead of the general elections, said he decided to quit the post after meeting Rahul Gandhi.
"I have suggested a three-member panel (to oversee the city party unit) and am being consulted by leaders to identify names. I look forward to play a national role to help stabilise the party. Needless to say, I will continue to guide and unite the Mumbai Congress," Mr Deora said.
He proposed a three-member panel of senior Congress leaders to oversee the city party unit till the Maharashtra Assembly polls, which are due later this year. Taking on the BJP-Shiv Sena and negating the impact of Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi party is a challenge for the Congress in Maharashtra, the statement said.
Mr Deora said he was looking forward to playing a role at the national level to help stabilise the party. "I had accepted MRCC president-ship in the interest of uniting the party. I felt I should also resign after meeting Rahul Gandhi," he said.
Former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said that party office-bearers were responsible for the party's defeat and not just Mr Gandhi alone. "Rahul Gandhi resigned taking responsibility of the party's defeat. But he was not the only person responsible for the defeat. Everybody is responsible. That is why most of the office bearers should resign and take responsibility for the party's defeat," he said.
Rahul Gandhi resigned as Congress president at a high level committee of the Congress on May 25, two days after results of the Lok Sabha elections were declared.
After several weeks of impasse with the party, which implored him to stay, he tweeted an open letter, listing his reasons for resignation and removed the party designation from his twitter bio.
The party's Working Committee is yet to officially accept his resignation or choose a new leader.