MP CM Kamal Nath skips Congress Working Committee meet

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath skipped the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held here to assess the reasons behind the party's performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sources in the Congress said the Chief Minister was camping in Bhopal to hold the party's flock together.

"He was preoccupied in Bhopal and that is why he did not come," the sources said while accusing the BJP of being power hungry.

The party has been rattled in Madhya Pradesh after losing 28 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The Congress government enjoys a slim majority in the state assembly.

Several senior leaders, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Motilal Vora, former union ministers RPN Singh, PL Punia and P Chidambaram, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, were present at the meeting.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, was also present in the huddle, apart from Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, while addressing media after the CWC meeting, said party president Rahul Gandhi offered to resign from his post following the party's debacle in the recently concluded elections, but the offer was "unanimously" rejected.

The CWC, sources said, took stock of the party's loss in Uttar Pradesh, the state which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.

Congress, despite extensive campaigning by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, was decimated to a single seat - Raebareli, represented by Sonia Gandhi - in Uttar Pradesh. Rahul Gandhi, who was the MP from Amethi since 2004, lost to Union Minister Smriti Irani.

The party put up a poor show in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where it had won the Assembly elections just five months ago.

In the 2014 general election, the Congress had won 44 seats, the lowest score in its history. It has improved its tally marginally by 8 to reach 52 seats in the 2019 polls.

Meanwhile, the chiefs of party units in states like Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha have offered to resign from their post accepting responsibility for Congress' poor performance.