Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Poll debacle: Cong panel starts review, meets Delhi leaders

Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: June 22, 2014 2:07 am

The committee constituted by AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to review the party’s worst ever performance in the Lok Sabha elections began its exercise here on Saturday with one-to-one meeting with party leaders from Delhi.

Senior leaders, including Kapil Sibal, Ajay Maken, Krishna Tirath, Mahabal Mishra and Ramesh Kumar, all of whom lost from their respective seats in Delhi, besides Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, were called by the review committee headed by former defence minister A K Antony.

Two of the seven former MPs from Delhi — Sandeep Dikshit and former Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief J P Aggarwal — did not attend the meeting. While Dikshit was out of town, Aggarwal could not be reached for comments.

Sources in the party said each leader was called to analyse reasons for the poor result and to suggest a way forward to revive the party in Delhi. “Each of us went in to meet the committee individually. We were asked for our views on the defeat and suggestions to help the party recover,” said one of the leaders.

According to sources, most leaders listed factors like price rise, corruption and lack of communication as reasons for the defeat. “Many also said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lured away a substantial share of our traditional votebank. Some also mentioned party infighting,” said another leader.

The informal panel also comprises AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik and secretaries R C Khuntia and Avinash Pandey. The leaders held discussions with all stakeholders, including Subhash Chopra, who was the campaign committee chairman for Delhi Assembly elections, PCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely and CLP leader Haroon Yusuf.

On Sunday, the committee will hold consultations with leaders from Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, while leaders from West Bengal and Bihar would take part in the review meeting on Monday. The meeting with Congress members from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will take place on Tuesday.

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