Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today expressed disappointment over the resignation of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress chief, saying he should have continued to lead the party with the dynamism and spirit shown during the General Election.
Mr Gandhi formally resigned from the post of the party president on Wednesday, saying he was responsible for the loss in the Lok Sabha elections and accountability was critical for the party's future growth.
He had expressed his intention on May 25, two days after the results of the Lok Sabha elections were declared.
Reiterating that Mr Gandhi alone was not responsible for the defeat, the senior Congress leader said party leaders shared collective responsibility for the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections and one electoral defeat could not define the "sum total of his leadership".
It was not fair for Mr Gandhi to hold himself accountable for a collective defeat, he said, adding that the party had registered impressive victories in three states just a few months before Parliamentary elections.
He stressed that the party's downfall was the result of a multitude of factors.
The BJP swept the polls at the back of their nationalist diatribe, which overshadowed the positive electioneering of the Congress led by Rahul, the senior Congress leader added.
Victory and defeat were part of any political party's fortunes in an electoral polity like ours, said Mr Singh, adding that every defeat formed a platform to rise again.
Under Mr Gandhi's mature and dynamic leadership, the Congress would definitely have risen again, he added.
The chief minister said this was what he and other Congress chief ministers had conveyed to Rahul Gandhi when they met him on Monday in New Delhi.
He lamented that they could not persuade Mr Gandhi to reconsider his decision. "It is a difficult time for the party, but together, we will get through it, come out stronger and bigger, with Rahul's vision continuing to guide us," he added.