Sunil Jakhar lost from Gurdaspur against BJP's Sunny Deol by over 77,000 votes. (File Photo: Facebook)
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, who lost the recent Lok Sabha election from Gurdaspur to BJP’s Sunny Deol, has sent his resignation to party president Rahul Gandhi, according to party sources. Along with Jakhar, Punjab Congress-incharge Asha Kumari has offered to quit and sent her resignation to the Congress chief. However, the sources said that their resignation has not been accepted by the Congress high command.
Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ajoy Roy has also reportedly sent in his resignation, taking moral responsibility for the party’s poor show in the state where they failed to capitalise the gains of resounding victory in the recent Assembly election and won just one of the state’s 14 seats.
In the resignation sent to Rahul Gandhi, Jakhar took the moral responsibilty of his personal defeat and the Congress party's below the expectations performance in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. The Congress had won onlly 8 of the 13 seats in Punjab while the BJP and the Akali Dal won two seats each. One seat was bagged by Aam Aadmi Party's Bhagwant Mann.
"Everyone supported me fully and put in their best for me but I was unable to defend my seat. In such a scenario I cannot continue as state chief. I feet a moral responsibility to quit," said Jakhar, who lost to Sunny Deol by over 77,000 votes.
While Punjab was othe second best peformance by Congress after Kerala, the Congress party performed miserably in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party could only manage to win 52 of the total 542 seats, just eight more than 2014, which was its worst ever performance in the general elections.
Adding insult to the injury, several prominent leaders lost from their respective constituencies. The Congress chief himself lost his traditional seat Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. He, however, registered a resounding victory from his second constituency Waynad in Kerala.
Following the party's poor show, a string of resignation started. Several state unit chiefs, including Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik, Uttar Pradesh Congress president Raj Babbar and Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan submitted their resignation. Rahul Gandhi too offered to quit but his rejected was not accepted by the Congress Working Committee. He was asked to give party sometime to for an alternative plan.