Scindia, Deora quit Congress posts

The resignation saga in Congress amid a leadership crisis continued on Sunday with high-profile leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora quitting party posts owning responsibility for the Lok Sabha poll debacle in areas of their assignments.

Scindia was appointed General Secretary in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh along with Priyanka Gandhi who was assigned eastern UP and Deora was given charge as chief of Mumbai Congress on the eve of Lok Sabha elections.

Both Scindia and Deora, who is known as close to Rahul, had also lost the Lok Sabha seats they contested besides they could not ensure respectable victory for the Congress in western UP and Mumbai respectively.

The latest resignations came days after Rahul publicised his resignation as Congress chief early this month through an open letter and asked the Congress to decide on the next leadership. Though the dates of a meeting of the Congress Working Committee to decide on leadership question is not announced shortly, it is likely to happen this week with Wednesday being the earliest date.

"Accepting the people’s verdict and taking accountability, I had submitted my resignation as General Secretary of AICC to Rahul Gandhi. I thank him for entrusting me with this responsibility and for giving me the opportunity to serve our party," Scindia tweeted.

Deora, the son of former Union Minister late Murli Deora and who had taken over as Mumbai Congress chief from Sanjay Nirupam, has also put in papers and might move to central leadership. Deora had expressed his desire to quit after meeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on June 26.

"I had accepted MRCC presidentship in the interest of uniting the party. I felt I should also resign after meeting Rahul Gandhi. I suggested a panel and am being consulted by leaders to identify names. I look forward to playing a national role to help stabilise the party. Needless to say, I will continue to guide and unite Mumbai Congress," Deora said in a statement in Mumbai.

However, Deora's resignation exposed the chinks in the Mumbai Congress with his predecessor Nirupam taking potshots at him. "A resignation is linked to the sentiment of sacrifice. In this case, a 'national' level post is being sought. Is this a resignation or a ladder to grow politically? The party should be cautious of such 'hardworking' people," Nirupam tweeted.

On Saturday, Youth Congress president Keshav Chand Yadav had resigned. Scores of middle-level leaders have also resigned from their post, which is seen as an attempt to pressurise the old guard in the party to quit to enable a new leadership to emerge. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday demanded that young person should succeed Rahul.

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