Congress president Rahul Gandhi will visit Shimla on Friday for a day-long meeting with the party leaders, including legislators and the candidates who lost the election, to assess the reasons for its defeat in the recently-concluded state Assembly polls. The party has won only 21 seats, while five sitting ministers lost the elections.
Rahul, who is visiting Shimla for the first time after taking over as party president, will also interact with the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office-bearers and district presidents to get a ground-level feedback.
PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu said Rahul’s trip was part of his regular exercise of visiting the states where the polls were recently held. “Earlier, he had visited Gujarat. The Congress president will meet all the candidates and they will be asked to give feedback on the factors contributing to the defeat of the party, besides their individual status,” said Sukhu.
Former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, immediately after the results, had attributed the BJP’s return to power to the trend of change every five years. On the other hand, Kaul Singh Thakur, former health minister who lost the election, had blamed Singh for his defeat as he had backed a rebel in his constituency. Some other candidates have also blamed senior leaders, apart from issues like governance and corruption.
The meeting of the Congress candidates will be held in two shifts, first for those who contested in Kangra and Hamirpur parliamentary constituency areas and second for Mandi and Shimla.