UP Cong chief Raj Babbar offers to resign, could be first casualty after polls drubbing
Looks like Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar will be the first casualty from the party after its humiliating defeat in the recently concluded Assembly elections.
Raj Babbar, who was appointed as the UPCC President in July last year, today said that he has offered to resign from the post after the defeat.
“I take responsibility for party's defeat and have offered to resign from my post,” Babbar said.
The Congress, which had won 28 seats in 2012 Assembly elections was restricted to seven MLAs in the 403-member Assembly in the recent polls, results of which were declared on March 11.
Many in the Congress have demanded "structural changes" in the party, including vice-president Rahul Gaandhi, without elaborating on the extent of these changes.
While senior party leaders like M Veerappa Moily and Satyavrat Chaturvedi have pitched for initiating such changes and "surgery" within the party to infuse fresh strength into it, former Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury called for putting the house in order.
Chaturvedi said he has been calling for restructuring ever since the party's humiliating defeat in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
"What is the need to take steps now when it has not been done when rquired," he said, recalling how he has been calling for the "much-needed" changes.
He also called for fixing accountability, saying heads of people responsible for the party's defeat should roll.
Former Union minister Moily also called for a "major surgery" besides the need to decentralise the party. He, however, said it does not apply to the top party leadership - Rahul or Sonia Gandhi .
"Structural change will have to take place. The party has to respond to the time and challenges," he said, adding that there should be "major surgery".
On his part, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi himself expressed the need for organisational and structural changes.
However, he stressed that the assembly poll results were "not bad" even though the party was "a little down" in Uttar Pradesh, saying the BJP had won largely due to polarisation.
On questions being raised about his leadership abilities after the party's poor performance in UP and Uttarakhand, he called for initiating changes within and hailed the role of regional leaders who fought assembly polls and emerged victorious.
"As far as the Congress party is concerned, we do need to make structural and organisational changes and that is a fact," he said yesterday while responding to questions from journalists.
BJP won a historic 312 seats in the Assembly elections in UP, leaving 47 to Congress' alliance partner Samajwadi Party and 19 to Maywati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).