Congress, AICC leaders review state polls fiasco

New Delhi, Dec. 9,: Senior leaders of the Congress Party met at party president Sonia Gandhi’s 10, Janpath residence here on Monday to review the party’s performance in assembly elections in the four states of Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.

The meeting was attended by among others Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and senior leaders.

All India Congress Committee general secretaries in-charges and observers of all five states of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram submitted their reports to the leadership.

The Congress leaders were unanimous in expressing their disappointment over the poll outcome, with the exception of Mizoram, where the Congress retained power.

The post-mortem meeting lasted for two-hours.

Congress leaders, including party general secretaries refused to share details of what transpired at the meeting.

Briefing media persons this evening, Congress spokesman Meem Afzal attributed the defeat of the Congress in the four states to the party’s inability to get a proper sense of localized issues.

There were a lot of local issues in the states in which polling was done, which were not addressed satisfactorily by the party’s state units. There were many mistakes which were committed. We accept our mistakes, as there is no harm in doing so,” Afzal said.

“The party as a whole is responsible for the defeat. The beauty of democracy is that we should accept the verdict of the public. I think everybody was wrong in predicting the performance of the AAP. Even the opinion polls were wrong about their performance. Nobody noticed the importance of the under current,” he added.

On the criticism of the Congress leadership by Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, who said that the former had been weak in its responses in the four states where it lost the polls, Afzal said: “If our allies give their reaction on any issue, then we don’t discuss it with them through the media. We have an internal forum and we will convince them on it regarding their grievances.”

“In MP, I think our campaign on the flaws of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, especially on the issues relating to development and corruption, did not reach to the public. Secondly, the infighting in the state Congress was almost solved, but it sent a negative message to the workers and the people. Lastly, I think the candidature of Jyotiraditya Scindia for the chief minister’s post was announced late. These were reasons for the poor performance,” he said.

“In Chhattisgarh, our leadership was very weak after the Naxals attack. Otherwise we could have won it by two-third majority. Secondly they had launched a scheme similar to the Food Security Bill, which I think made an impact there,” he added. (ANI)