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Somen Mitra offers to quit after party’s poor performance in polls

Gandhi formally resigned as the Congress president, saying he was responsible for the loss in the Lok Sabha election and that accountability was critical for the party’s future growth.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

PCC chief Somen Mitra submitted a letter of resignation from the post taking responsibility for the party’s poor performance in the Lok Sabha election, according to a press statement released today.

However, Gaurav Gogoi, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of party affairs in the state, refused to accept Mitra’s resignation and requested him to continue in the post, according to party sources. The Congress won two of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in this parliamentary elections. It had won four seats in the 2014 election.

Mitra’s resignation follows that of party president Rahul Gandhi who put in his papers last week. Gandhi formally resigned as the Congress president, saying he was responsible for the loss in the Lok Sabha election and that accountability was critical for the party’s future growth.

“On May 24, during a party meeting on Lok Sabha poll results, Mitra had taken full responsibility for the party’s dismal performance… and has expressed his desire to quit, but was stopped by party colleagues from doing so.

“But after Rahul Gandhi resigned from his post last week, Mitra too sent his resignation to AICC on Sunday,” the press statement said. According to a source in the party, Gogoi met Mitra on Monday and told him his resignation has not been accepted.

“Gogoi also said that the new national president will reorganise state committees and decision regarding state unit chiefs will be taken subsequently,” he added.

This is the second time Mitra has resigned as the PCC chief. He had resigned in 1998 after the party fared poorly in the parliamentary elections which also marked the emergence of Trinamul Congress as a major player in state and national politics.

A meeting of the district Congress chiefs which is going to be attended by AICC members is scheduled to be held on 19 July. The next course of action of the state Congress is likely to be chalked out at this meeting.