Amid speculation that Congress President Rahul Gandhi may offer to resign, a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting is scheduled on Saturday to look into the reasons for the party's Lok Sabha elections debacle and decide on its further course of action to take on the BJP, which has grown in strength over the last five years.
Rahul Gandhi has taken full responsibility for the party's poll defeat and there is speculation that he may offer to resign at the CWC meeting.
However, the party leaders are backing him strongly and have said that the blame for party's poor showing cannot be put on any one individual.
At the CWC meet, Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders are expected to give their assessment of what went wrong and the remedial steps that must be taken.
There was reports of Rahul Gandhi having offered to resign on Thursday, after the results, but the Congress denied those.
Rahul Gandhi himself answered the question at a press conference he addressed later in the day. "We will have a meeting of the Working Committee. That you can leave between me and the Working Committee," he said.
He also admitted that the road for the party was long and tough, but asked party workers and leaders not to lose heart.
The Congress has won 52 seats in the elections, just eight more than the 44 it won in 2014. Rahul Gandhi was a prominent face in both the elections.
The party won a single seat (Rae Bareli) in Uttar Pradesh, but Rahul Gandhi himself failed to retain his family bation of Amethi in India's biggest state. The loss is likely to have implications not just on Congress' revival plans in Uttar Pradesh, but also on his own political standing as a leader. He won from Kerala's Wayanad.
The results show that Rahul Gandhi, who became the Congress chief in 2017, has not been able to galvanise the party to offer a strong counter against the BJP, which has handed the main opposition party its worst electoral outcomes.
The Congress scored a nil in 18 states and Union territories in these elections, and failed to dent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where it formed governments last year.
It delayed formation of an alliance in Bihar following which the opposition could win only one seat in the state.
Its poor electoral strategy has allowed saffron party to become a dominant force in West Bengal and strengthen itself further in Karnataka.
The party is again unlikely to have its own Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha as it does not have the minimum strength required to get the status as per rules.
Nine former chief ministers and the party's leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are among some of Congress' prominent losers.
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