Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi today joined a Congress protest at parliament a day after the party lost most of its lawmakers to the ruling BJP in Goa and came closer than ever to losing power in Karnataka following several resignations.
Congress lawmakers shouted slogans, holding up placards of "Save Democracy", accusing the BJP of "killing democracy" by luring away opposition lawmakers in various states.
"Instead of focusing on development and other issues, the BJP is disrupting work wherever there are elected governments and trying to finish off democracy," said Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi.
On Wednesday, 10 of 15 Congress lawmakers split from the party in Goa and merged with the ruling BJP.
The Congress is left with only five lawmakers in the seaside state where the party had emerged the single largest in 2017. Since two-thirds of the lawmakers have split, they do not have to quit the assembly.
Last month, the Congress suffered a similar collapse in Telangana, where 12 of its 18 lawmakers crossed over to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's party.
The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government is fighting for survival in Karnataka after 18 exits. If the resignations are accepted - the speaker has rejected many of them as invalid - the balance will shift from the Congress-JDS to the BJP, which had last year fallen just short of the majority mark.
The Congress has been stumbling from crisis to crisis since its defeat in the national election, in which the party won just 52 seats across the country and was wiped out in 17 states. In the remaining states, the party is gradually crumbling.
Rahul Gandhi, who took over as Congress president from his mother Sonia Gandhi in 2017, resigned days after the rout on May 25, and in a long letter last week explained that the party needed "radical transformation" under a new leader. He indicated that the new chief has to be a non-Gandhi.
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