New Delhi: Former finance minister P Chidambaram got emotional while appealing to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi not to step down from his post, claiming that the party’s cadres in the southern states will commit suicide.

During the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held on Saturday, all the leaders urged Rahul Gandhi to continue as the party chief, even as Rahul Gandhi remained firm on his decision to resign, sources said.

Addressing media after CWC meeting, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Rahul Gandhi has been authorised to restructure the party following its dismal performance in the recently held Lok Sabha elections.

When party leaders asked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to intervene and dissuade Rahul Gandhi from resigning, she said it was up to Rahul Gandhi to decide where he wants to step down or not, sources said.

However, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was of the view that no decision should be taken in haste. She, sources claimed, also said if Rahul Gandhi decides to resign, it would mean that he fell into BJP’s trap.

While the newly-elected Wayanad MP expressed his intent to discontinue as the party president, sources said he asserted that he would continue to fight for Congress’ ideology and work for the party.

When the 48-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family remained adamant on discontinuing as the party president, the CWC leaders rose to oppose his offer stating that he was not the one to be blamed for the party’s drubbing.

The CWC members also praised their leader’s aggressive approach in the run-up to polls, and said there were shortfalls in others, sources said. Priyanka, it is learnt, said that during the campaigning, basic issues were not discussed and the ruling government succeeded in suppressing those.

The leaders, on the other hand, were of the view that media only showed what the government instructed them to.

They even accused the Election Commission of working under the government’s control, sources added.

During the CWC meet, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Karnataka’s former chief minister Siddaramaiah were also present, among others.