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Cong. dissolves 280 block panels in Delhi; many party workers quit in Rahul support

By IANS Updated: Jun 28, 2019 11:52 pm
Congress President Rahul Gandhi with leaders & representatives from his Parliamentary constituency Wayanad, in New Delhi on Friday (PTI)

New Delhi, June 28 (IANS):
The Congress on Friday dissolved all the 280 block committees in the national capital with immediate effect, while over 140 party bearers resigned from their post in support of the party President Rahul Gandhi’s offer to step down from the post following the dismal performance of the party in the Lok Sabha elections.

The party leaders from different states and holding several posts also gave three days to senior leaders to submit their resignation to give a free hand to the party President to restructure the party.

The action comes after party’s Law and the Right to Information (RTI) Cell chairperson Vivek Tankha’s offered to resign from the post on Thursday night saying “the Congress cannot afford a stalemate for too long” and urged Gandhi to revive the Congress as “a fighting force”.

In a series of tweets, Tankha said: “We all should submit our resignations from party positions and give Rahul ji a free hand to choose his team… Party cannot afford a stalemate for too long.”

On Friday afternoon, Rajesh Lilothia, who was also a party candidate from North-West Delhi, resigned as the Delhi Congress Working President. Besides Tankha and Lilothia, Haryana Women Congress chief Sumitra Chouhan, General Secretary Netta P. Sangma of Meghalaya, Secretary Virender Rathore, Chhattisgarh Secretary Anil Chaudhary, Madhya Pradesh Secretary Sudhir Chaudhary and Haryana Secretary Satyavir Yadav also quit their posts.

Lilothia said the resignations are meant to facilitate a free hand for Rahul Gandhi to bring structural changes in the party. Hd said many party leaders hope that Rahul will take back his offer to resign as party chief.

Lilothia also pointed out that party leaders must take responsibility for the party’s performance. A senior party leader, who also attended the meeting said they have given three days to senior leaders to submit their resignation. “If they do not, then we shall sit on hunger strike at the party headquarters,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Congress Chief and three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit dissolved all 280 block committees in the national capital with immediate effect. In her order she said the decision was taken “keeping in line with the report submitted by the five-member fact-finding committee constituted for the Lok Sabha elections 2019”.

On Monday, the Congress dissolved all district committees of its Uttar Pradesh unit and formed a three-member disciplinary committee to look into acts of gross indiscipline and anti-party activities during the Lok Sabha elections.

On June 19, the party dissolved the Karnataka Congress Committee sparing the state unit chief and the state in-charge.

The Congress has suffered a major defeat in the elections, winning just 52 seats. Gandhi himself was defeated in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh although he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Wayanad in Kerala.

Gandhi announced his decision to quit as Congress President after the election results but the Congress Working Committee (CWC) wants him to continue.

On Thursday too, Gandhi made it clear to General Secretary K.C. Venugopal that he was determined to give up the top party post.

At the same time, Gandhi has said that he will chair crucial meetings until a new party chief was found.

Gandhi has reportedly told some leaders in private that he was disgusted with those who cling on to their posts despite the election rout.

According to party sources, a meeting of CWC will be called to decide a new party chief. Ahead of the meeting, more resignations are likely in the country’s oldest political party.

By IANS Updated: Jun 28, 2019 11:52:41 pm