DMK chief MK Stalin on Tuesday requested Congress president Rahul Gandhi not to step down from his post, saying he has won the hearts of the people even though his party lost the general election.

Amid reports that Gandhi was firm on quitting, Stalin spoke to the Congress top leader over the phone and “appealed to him to give up the idea of resigning as party president”, the DMK said in Chennai.

Though the Congress party has suffered defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, “you have won the hearts of the people”, Stalin told Gandhi, the party said.

Rahul and his mother Sonia Gandhi greeted Stalin for the resounding victory of the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu.

Stalin will participate in the swearing-in ceremony of YSR Congress Party chief Jaganmohan Reddy as Andhra Pradesh chief minister on May 30, the party added.

The DMK-led front in Tamil Nadu won 37 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats. The election in the Vellore parliamentary constituency was cancelled by the EC citing abuse of money power.