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Rahul Gandhi adamant on stepping down, Congress leaders across nation urge him not to


New Delhi, May 29: Karnataka Congress became the latest to pass a resolution urging Rahul Gandhi to withdraw his resignation and continue as the party president. The crisis in the Congress deepened with Gandhi sticking to his decision to resign as party chief after its Lok Sabha poll debacle and staying away from meeting party leaders.

Rahul Gandhi

Earlier in the day, Congress workers gathered outside party chief Rahul Gandhi's residence urging him to withdraw his offer to resign. Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit visited Gandhi's Tughlak Lane residence. After coming out, she remained silent on whether she was able to meet the Gandhi scion. Sources said she could not meet Rahul Gandhi.

"We feel that Rahul Gandhi is the only person who can lead the party in this crucial hour & we urge him to withdraw his resignation letter and the CLP has unanimously passed the resolution that he continues as the Congress President," Karnataka state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao told media today.

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Boxer Vijender Singh, who had fought the Lok Sabha polls from the South Delhi constituency and ended up at the third spot said workers do not want Rahul Gandhi to resign as he is an "able and hardworking" leader. "He has not resigned. We have come to talk to him. He has made an offer to resign but people do not want him to go. "He has worked hard. If the results are not in our favour, it hurts but we are fighters. Nobody else can work like him. He is a leader who takes everyone together," Singh said.

The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) on Wednesday passed a resolution urging Rahul Gandhi to continue as the party president. The HPCC executive committee urged Rahul Gandhi to stay as the Congress chief in the interest of the nation and the party, a Congress leader said. The executive committee also urged him to start rebuilding the party and restore the confidence of the people in it.

The resolution was sent to the Congress Working Committee (CWC), which had earlier rejected Rahul Gandhi's offer to quit as the party president following the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections. Presenting the resolution before the executive committee, HPCC president Kuldeep Singh Rathore said, "There is no need to get demoralised by the defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections. There was no shortcoming in the electioneering by Rahul Gandhi." The state Congress chief said it was not the time to level allegations but to work unitedly to strengthen the party.

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Former chief minister Virbhadra Singh too supported the resolution. "This is the time to provide strength to our leader Rahul Gandhi. The party and the nation require Rahul Gandhi's leadership," he said. The leader of opposition in the state assembly, Mukesh Agnihotri, said the BJP wanted a Congress-free country due to which it was pursuing a policy of getting Rahul Gandhi removed from the post. "We should not allow the BJP to succeed in its policy," he said The executive committee congratulated the Congress chief on his victory in Wayanad, where he won by a margin of over four lakh votes. It also congratulated UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on her victory from Raibareli.

Expressing solidarity with Rahul Gandhi, the executive committee said the BJP diverted people's attention to non-issues in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Rajasthan Congress executive committee on Wednesday passed a resolution, saying the party should not accept the resignation of its president Rahul Gandhi over the Lok Sabha debacle.

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"The pradesh Congress executive committee accepts all those challenges, failures and shortcomings which led to this mandate,"AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pande told reporters.

He said all the members of the executive committee also authorised the Congress president to carry out a "radical organisational changes". "The Congress has lost the elections but our courage, spirit of struggle and commitment towards our principles is stronger than before," he said.

The executive committee endorsed the resolution passed on the same lines by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in New Delhi on May 25.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president Sachin Pilot were present at the meeting held at the party headquarters.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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