At CWC Meet, Congress Reviews Electoral Failure in Face of BJP's Thumping Win

The Congress won just 52 seats in the Lok Sabha, up from 44 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee is holding its first review meeting after its poor performance in the Lok Sabah election amid speculation that Rahul Gandhi may be resigning from his post as party president.

The core committee is meeting at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi. Chaired by Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, chief ministers of party-ruled states, Priyanka Gandhi and other top leaders are among the attendees.

On May 23, when the BJP surged back to power with a massive mandate, the Congress was left with just 52 seats in the 542-member Lok Sabha – up from the 44 seats it picked up in 2014 in its worst ever performance.

The meeting is expected to go into the reasons behind the party’s debacle and discus as to why its poll narrative failed to convince the people.

The Congress firmly rejected speculation that Gandhi had offered to resign from the party’s leadership.

Within the party, murmurs of dissent are cropping up over taking responsibility for the party’s performance. Some its leaders have already sent in their resignations, including Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar and Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik.

Congress leader H.K. Patil also resigned as the president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Campaign Committee on Friday.

“As president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Campaign Committee I had the privilege to take the policies and message of my esteemed Party to the people,” he said in a letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi. “In view of the debacle, I feel it my moral duty to own-up the responsibility. Hence, with all humility I submit my resignation to the post.”

In Amethi, Congress leader Yogendra Misra resigned as the president of the district Congress committee, ANI reported after Union minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani defeated Gandhi in the Congress stronghold with a margin of a margin of 55,120 votes.

“I’ve taken the moral responsibility for the defeat,” Misra told PTI. “Somewhere there must have been some shortcoming on our part (the local unit) and hence I’ve offered to resign. I’m yet to get any response on this from the party leadership. This is not a defeat of Rahul Gandhi or the people of Amethi, it is the defeat of democracy. The way the BJP used muscle power and money power to entice voters. They’ve spent crores here.”

Senior leader and former Union minister P. Chidambaram was also present in the meeting alongside his party colleagues including A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sheila Dikshit, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia.