Having faced its worst-ever defeat in Gujarat, a shell-shocked Congress blamed what it called an “unholy nexus” between AAP and the BJP for its loss.
While AICC in-charge of the state Raghu Sharma resigned, the general secretary in charge of organisation, K C Venugopal, vowed to “deeply probe” and “introspect” the reasons behind the debacle and take corrective measures.
Interestingly, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge credited the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi’s Vadra’s campaign in Himachal Pradesh for the party’s victory in the state. On the Gujarat outcome, Kharge said that the party will rectify shortcomings, if any.
“We will keep fighting. In democracy, victories and defeats are not permanent. It is part of democracy. But we cannot leave our principles. It is an ideological fight…victories and defeat will keep happening…we will see…we will try to improve…rectify shortcomings, if any, and keep fighting,” he said.
Venugopal said the “unholy nexus between AAP and the BJP was instrumental in dividing the secular votes to script the saffron victory” in Gujarat. Arguing that the Bharat Jodo Yatra was moving forward, touching millions, spreading love and healing wounds, Venugopal said: “Himachal Pradesh has chosen its message of compassion over hatred.”
Calling the Gujarat outcome disappointing, AICC general secretary in charge of communication, Jairam Ramesh, said the “Congress was up against a three-party alliance of BJP, AAP and MIM, a campaign of provocative polarisation, and a machinery of state and the Centre.”
“Our vote share gives us hope and confidence for rebuilding and revival. We are the only alternative in Gujarat. The Himachal Pradesh result is a definite morale booster for the Congress. The PM’s high voltage campaign in the home state of the BJP president failed significantly. The pledges made to the people of Himachal by the Congress will be fulfilled,” he said.
Thanking the people of Himachal Pradesh, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said “every promise made to the public will be fulfilled at the earliest.” Senior Congress leader and former union minister Anand Sharma hoped the Congress victory in Himachal Pradesh will have a ripple effect in states going to polls next year.
He said the party achieved victory despite BJP’s “carpet bombing and unprecedented use of resources.”
“Devbhoomi has sent a message, loud and clear — withdraw the Agniveer scheme and restore the old pension scheme,” Sharma said.
“A united Congress will provide a government that will take forward the developmental agenda and fulfil the promises made to the people.”