Poll debacle: Sonia Gandhi asks five Congress state unit chiefs to resign

Those who have been asked to resign include Navjot Sidhu (Punjab), Ganesh Godiyal (Uttarakhand), Nameirakpam Loken Singh (Manipur), Ajay Kumar Lallu (UP) and Girish Chodankar (Goa).
Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi. (Photo | PTI)
Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi. (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: After a humiliating whitewash in all five states that went to polls recently, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday directed the heads of party units in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur to put in their papers.

The directive is expected to set the ball rolling for spring-cleaning and rejuvenating the party units. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted that the five state Congress chiefs had been asked to resign "in order to facilitate reorganisation of PCCs".

The order came two days after Sonia reportedly offered to resign along with her children at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting but was dissuaded from doing so by her loyalists. The CWC instead asked her to "address the organisational weaknesses" and "effect necessary and comprehensive organisational changes".

The Congress was particularly bruised because it was swept out of power in Punjab by the AAP due to intra-party squabbling. It also failed to the catch the low hanging fruits of Uttarakhand and Goa.

Sonia's diktat would bring the curtain down on the messy Navjot Singh Sidhu chapter in Punjab Congress. Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra and Rahul Gandhi used the maverick to unseat the then chief minister Amarinder Singh, but instead of making him the successor, passed on the baton to Charanjit Singh Channi. Sidhu kept sulking and continued to be a rebel despite being given charge of the Punjab unit.

Meanwhile, a section of the party leaders said the in-charge of the five states that went to polls should be made equally accountable and asked to tender their resignations. Former Uttarakhand CM and veteran Harish Rawat, upset after being accused by state Congress working president Ranjeet Rawat of selling tickets for assembly elections, sought his own expulsion from the party.

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