Chief Ministers of five Congress-ruled states met Rahul Gandhi in a bid to convince him to continue as Congress president. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy met Rahul at his residence to ‘convey the sentiments’ of party workers. Sources said that Gehlot and Nath yet again offered to step down in the wake of Rahul’s displeasure over them prioritising their sons’ campaigns. Though sources said the meeting was highly confidential, it is learnt that Nath, Gehlot and Baghel were specifically pulled up for ‘poor’ performance in their states.
Meanwhile, mass resignations by Congress functionaries opposing Rahul’s stand to quit reached 300 and a massive sit-in from across the country is planned today. Leaders from the party’s Delhi unit sat on an indefinite hunger strike at the party headquarters (24, Akbar Road) from Monday morning and more leaders are set to join the agitation, said Delhi unit’s working president Rajesh Lilothia, who was the first to begin the resignation drive. Sources said it is likely that party workers and leaders from state units across the country might join in, forcing Rahul to make an appearance before the agitating workers.
After the two-hour closed-door meeting, Gehlot came out of Rahul’s residence and told reporters that it was a ‘good meeting’ and added, “Rahul ji listened to us intently and we expect him to take a positive decision.” He said, “The other side misled the country in the name of patriotism. BJP did its politics hiding behind the Army… did not once talk of development, economy, jobs. They ignored all these issues and fought the elections on caste, religion and army, whereas Rahul Gandhi campaigned actively and the entire country took note of it.”
Asked if he and Nath submitted his resignations, he maintained, “Resignations are given the day the results come in… CMs naturally have to put in their resignations. The entire CWC has authorised Rahul ji to make changes, reshuffle, remove…”
Baghel had held yet another meeting with Rahul last week following which he vacated the position of Chhattisgarh state Congress chief and was replaced by Mohan Markam. Amarinder Singh had won a word of praise from the Congress Working Committee during its first meeting after the election results came in and sources said that even on Monday he was not specifically asked any tough questions by the Congress chief.