ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS Former Union minister Aslam Sher Khan, also a hockey olympian, said he was prepared to take over as the Congress chief on a provisional basis According to the report, the party rejected the suggestion. Reportedly, he sent a letter, writing: “I would like to offer my services to the party and take responsibility as a provisional Congress president for a time-bound period of two years only.”
After the poll debacle, the top leaders of the Congress had met on Saturday to discuss losses and what went wrong for the party in the Lok Sabha polls. Party chief Rahul Gandhi who took '100 per cent responsibility' for the defeat had offered his resignation.
Some of the state chiefs like Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar and Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik have already submitted their resignations, taking moral responsibility for the electoral debacle which saw the Congress bag only 52 seats. It was a clean sweep for the Narendra Modi-led BJP which won 303 seats, bettering its 2014 performance.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Congress won only one of the 80 Lok Sabha seats—Sonia Gandhi's Rae Bareli. In a humiliating defeat, Rahul Gandhi lost to senior BJP leader Smriti Irani in Amethi.
According to NDTV, while Rahul Gandhi has made it clear that he would not reconsider his decision to step down, his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are not in league with him. "Ahmed Patel, his mother's closest aide, apparently warned him at today's meeting that the Congress will split if a Gandhi does not helm it," NDTV reported. Priyanka said the entire top brass of the party left Rahul Gandhi alone to fight it out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sonia Gandhi, on the other hand, reportedly said the Gandhis do not quit public responsibility. She said Rahul has a huge legacy to live up to and must not duck the responsibility of ensuring that India's oldest political party does not splinter.