In an apparent swipe at Rahul Gandhi, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said Thursday that his party as well as its ally BJP faced many electoral defeats in the past, but their leaders did not quit.
Rahul Gandhi has resigned owning moral responsibility for the Congress' Lok Sabha debacle.
Speaking after the inauguration of a public park named for former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in suburban Borivali, Mr Thackeray said the Sena-BJP alliance faced many defeats in the initial years.
"It is only now that we are winning. Nobody runs away because of an electoral defeat. Vajpayee was also defeated in elections, but he did not lose heart. Nobody resigned back then," Mr Thackeray, who has never contested an election himself, said.
The Shiv Sena leader, however, did not name Rahul Gandhi, who was in Mumbai in the day for a hearing in a defamation case.
Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday publicly announced his resignation as Congress president, taking responsibility for the Lok Sabha polls debacle, and called for "hard decisions" to rebuild the party and making people accountable for the "failure" of 2019.
In a four-page open letter, Mr Gandhi also urged the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to entrust a group of people with the task of finding a new president as it would not be proper for him to do so.
The 49-year-old leader -- who has been adamant on his decision to quit as party president since May 25, two days after the results in which his party won 52 seats -- also stressed on the need for the Congress to "radically transform itself".
In a letter that was emotive in places and combative in others, he said he owed the country and his party a debt of tremendous gratitude and love, but maintained that at times he stood "completely alone" in his fight against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.
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