Will he, won't he?

Will he, won

Don't quit chorus grows as Opposition leaders ask Rahul to remain Cong chief

New Delhi: As Rahul Gandhi remained adamant on stepping down as Congress president after the party's Lok Sabha election debacle, many leaders -- within the Congress and outside -- have appealed to him not to take such a drastic step.

Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad termed Rahul Gandhi's proposal to resign as Congress chief suicidal and said it would amount to "falling into the Bharatiya Janata Party's trap".

"Rahul's offer to resign suicidal. Opposition parties had the common goal to dislodge BJP but failed to build a national narrative.

The result in a particular election can never alter the reality in as diverse and plural a country as India," Lalu Prasad said in a tweet.

RJD leader and Lalu Prasad's older son Tej Pratap Yadav also echoed his father's thoughts on Twitter and said Rahul Gandhi must continue as the Congress chief and face the challenges.

DMK chief M K Stalin requested Rahul Gandhi not to step down from his post, saying he has won the hearts of the people even though his party lost the general election.

Stalin said he spoke to Rahul Gandhi over phone and "appealed to him to give up the idea of resigning as party president".

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said Rahul Gandhi is the best person to pull the party out of its predicament following the setback suffered in the Lok Sabha polls.

Tharoor declared that his party is "alive and kicking" and it is too premature to write its obituary.

Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said Narendra Modi winning the 2019 Lok Sabha election is not cause enough for Rahul Gandhi to give up his post.

"Just because (Narendra) Modi has won...that is not a criterion to leave the presidentship. After all, ups and downs are common for the Congress party. We have seen them many a time," Moily said.

Congress leader and P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram said everyone in Congress wants Rahul Gandhi to continue as the party president.

"It is the desire of everyone in Congress that Rahul Gandhi continues as the party chief. He is the leader today and will be the leader in the future too," Karti said.

Meanwhile, senior party leader Salman Khurshid claimed that leadership change in tough times for the organisation will be "silly and ungrateful".

Rahul Gandhi had earlier informed the Congress about his intention to quit following the drubbing the party suffered in the Lok Sabha election.

Senior party leaders including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Randeep Surjewala, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Sachin Pilot rushed to Rahul Gandhi's residence on Tuesday to convince him to review his decision.

Rahul's trusted aide KC Venugopal also met the party president at his Tughlaq Lane residence.

After a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet on Saturday, the Congress leadership announced that Rahul Gandhi had offered to resign but the party refused to accept it.

However, sources on Monday said Rahul Gandhi was adamant on resigning as the party chief and insisted that Congress should find a new party president.

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