A high-powered panel of Congress led by party veteran A K Antony on Sunday took stock of factors leading to its crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
While Congress is participating in an alliance government in Jharkhand headed by JMM leader Hemant Soren, it is in the opposition in other two states for more than a decade.
In the meeting, the Antony panel asked each participant the reasons for the party’s poor show and elicited views as to how it can stage a comeback.
All the Lok Sabha candidates, PCC chiefs and senior leaders of the three states took part in the exercise.
B K Hari Prasad, the party’s general secretary in-charge of these states, said it was a stock-taking exercise. “We have discussed in detail as to what went wrong and how to revive the party,” he said.
The party was expecting to stage a comeback in Chhattisgarh after the Maoist attack last year which had wiped off its top state leadership. However, it performed badly in both Assembly election last year and Lok Sabha polls this year.
In Odisha, where Navin Patnaik is heading the BJD government, there is no end to the marginalisation of the party.
Starting a soul-searching exercise following its worst-ever Lok Sabha poll result, the panel had met Congress leaders from Delhi to identify the reasons behind its rout in the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital.
The informal group set up by Congress President Sonia Gandhi also has AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik and secretaries R C Khuntia and Avinash Pandey as its members.
On Friday, the first question to the AAP was related to its “anti-national activities”.