The rout of the Congress was so intense that almost nine former chief ministers of the Congress who were fighting the Lok Sabha polls lost.
New Delhi: As the dust settles down after the Lok Sabha results, the Congress is all set to go into an introspection mode. A meeting of the Congress Working Committee has been called on Saturday morning to deliberate on the reasons for the defeat. Congress president Rahul Gandhi is all set to tender his resignation, accepting responsibility for the rout that the party has faced.
Several resignations also reached the Cong-ress president on Friday morning. These include Raj Babbar, the UP party chief, Karnataka campaign manager H.K. Patil and Odisha chief Niranjan Patnaik. The Congress has been wiped out in Karnataka and Odisha.
In politically-crucial UP, the Congress managed to win only the Rae Bareli seat of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. UP sends 80 MPs to the Lower House. The trouncing in UP was particularly shocking for the party as its star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia had led a high-octane campaign there. PCC president Raj Babbar, who also fought the Lok Sabha polls from Fatehpur Sikri, was also defeated.
The rout of the Congress was so intense that almost nine former chief ministers of the Congress who were fighting the Lok Sabha polls lost. These include M. Veerappa Moily, Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Sheila Dikshit, Bhopinder Singh Hooda, Digvijay Singh, Harish Rawat, Nabam Tuki and Mukul Sangma. Interestingly the Congress could not get even a single seat in 13 of the 29 states and three Union territories. While the party has increased its tally slightly, it still does not have the number to get the post of Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
Murmurs have already started within the Congress about the faults in the party campaign. Insiders claim the issue of Rafale was wasted when there was no substantial evidence to give to the people. Also, when Mr Gandhi had to apologise to the Supreme Court, it went against the party while its rivals, mainly the BJP, got a chance to raise the Bofors issue. The personal attack on the Prime Minister was also being resisted by some in the party, but despite these reservations the Congress leadership went ahead with the campaign.
This is the second big electoral debacle Rahul Gandhi had presided over. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, though he was not party president, he was virtually calling the shots. His personal loss in the family bastion of Amethi has had Mr Gandhi running for cover. But the question still remains whether after this debacle the CWC will let go of Mr Gandhi, or will continue with him at the helm.
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