A day after the Congress lost the polls conclusively in three states, party president Sonia Gandhi seemed to be in denial, saying no one was to blame for the loss, Rahul Gandhi was not wrongly advised in Uttar Pradesh and there would be no effect on the functioning of the UPA at the centre.
“In these elections Congress has got less than expected votes. This is the decision of the electorate and we accept it,” Gandhi said, after a meeting with party general secretaries to analyse the results of the 2012 polls.
Rahul Gandhi, a Congress general secretary, was conspicuous by his absence.
When asked if the losses in states like Uttar Pradesh would make governance difficult for the UPA alliance in the centre, Gandhi said it would have no effect.
“My view and the Prime Minister’s view is if we keep in touch with coalition partners, even if there is opposition, I have every hope that the moves beneficial to the people they (coalition partners) will support,” Gandhi said.
She ruled out changing the Prime Minister, saying the “question does not arise”.
Inflation and high prices were factors that might have gone against the Congress in the state polls, Gandhi, who is also the UPA chairperson, said.
“We have to pull our socks up and prepare for Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka (assembly polls),” she said.
Gandhi admitted the choice of unsuitable candidates in the some of the states might have gone against Congress.
“There are a number of reasons. One of the reasons is the wrong choice of candidates but I wouldn’t say it was the main reason. It then resulted in rebel candidates setting themselves up. In the case of Punjab we had better hopes for it,” Gandhi said.
She admitted that in Goa the party was hit by allegations of corruption and the illegal mining scandal.
The loss in UP could be attributed to the fact that people were upset with the Bahujan Samaj Party and chose the Samajwadi Party as an alternative, she said.
She also denied her son and Congress general secretary, Rahul, had been badly advised and if any party leaders were being held responsible for it.
“Rahul explained his views on UP yesterday, the party is weak in UP,” she said.
She also denied there was a lack of leadership in the party. “Not a lack of leadership, maybe a problem of too many leaders,” Gandhi said wryly.
The Congress would also be staking a claim to form the government in Uttarakhand, she said. “In a democracy it is an obvious thing that the party with the numbers should be invited to form the government,” Gandhi said.