Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily today appealed to party president Rahul Gandhi to step in and put an end to dissidence raging in some state units, saying he can't quit the top post without putting a suitable replacement in place.
"We are all concerned for the party. When leadership does not act, all these things will happen," the former Union Minister said referring to reports of infighting in Punjab and Rajasthan and desertions in Telangana and Maharashtra.
"Even if Rahul Gandhi wants to resign, he has to take very firm action. He cannot just leave. He has to assert himself and put the party in order. That's his duty," Mr Moily said.
Rahul Gandhi had offered to quit as Congress Chief during a meeting of the party's top committee after its poor show in the Lok Sabha elections. The committee had unanimously rejected his offer even though he was adamant.
"Even if he wants to resign, this is not the time. Unless he puts an alternative in place to handle the situation, I don't think Rahul Gandhi should just leave the position," the former Karnataka Chief Minister told news agency PTI.
Mr Moily said that the Congress should not be upset over poor show in the Lok Sabha election setback and added that it will bounce back in the future. "That kind of optimism should be with every Congress leader and also with Congress rank and file."
"Reasons can be gone into for the defeat, but at the same time, keeping the party intact and together is very important. The Opposition should not be allowed to take advantage of the defeat of Congress," he added.
Mr Moily also had a suggestion for the party-a brainstorming meeting in Delhi, with heads of state units and party. He added that party committees at various levels should be revamped immediately and those who could not deliver the goods should be replaced. "I think this kind of activity cannot wait any longer, he has to step in and do this".