Rahul Gandhi, leader of India's opposition Congress party, said on Wednesday he had asked party bosses to find a successor after he took responsibility for losing a general election that has left the party in crisis.
India announced Sunday a general election to be held over nearly six weeks starting on April 11, when hundreds of millions voters will cast ballots in the world's biggest democracy.
India's ruling party looked set to lose power in three key states, official vote counts showed on Tuesday, likely handing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014, and only months ahead of a general election.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party is likely to lose two heartland states while a third is too close to call, exit polls showed on Friday in the final test of popularity before a national election due by May next year.
Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi created a flutter in parliament on Friday, giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi a surprise hug during a heated debate and said he had nothing but love for his bitter political foe.
A win in Karnataka would be regarded as a major boost for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of general elections scheduled in 2019.
India's main opposition Congress party on Monday elevated Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the country's most fabled political dynasty, as its president, preparing to challenge the dominance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of national polls in 2019.
Tens of thousands of Indians voted in the first stage of assembly elections in the western state of Gujarat on Saturday, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces his toughest electoral test since coming to power with a landslide victory in 2014.
Indian police on Thursday briefly arrested leading opposition figure Rahul Gandhi as he tried to reach farmers striking in Madhya Pradesh, where five protesters were earlier killed in clashes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys strong public support over two years after winning power, with most people happy with his efforts to tackle corruption and other problems plaguing India, a poll showed on Monday.