Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sonia Gandhi says Congress must draw ‘uncomfortable lessons’ from assembly poll results

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said that the party has to take note of its “serious setbacks” in the recently concluded assembly elections across India. Highlighting the fact that Congress failed to dislodge the incumbent governments in Kerala and Assam, and drew a complete blank in West Bengal, Gandhi said that she will set up a small group to “candidly understand” the underlying causes behind the party’s dismal performance. “These will yield uncomfortable lessons, but if we do not look the facts in the face, we will not draw the right lessons,” she said in a CWC meeting.

The crucial meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was convened to deliberate and introspect on the party’s performance in the latest elections. The Congress fared poorly, drawing a blank in West Bengal and failing to win back power in Kerala and Assam, besides losing Puducherry. The party only came to power with the help of its ally — the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) — in Tamil Nadu. “To say that we are deeply disappointed is to make an understatement,” Sonia Gandhi noted while addressing the crucial meeting of the top Congress body.

The Congress chief also raised the matter of electing a new party president. “When we met on January 22, we had decided that the process for electing a Congress president would be completed by end-June. The election authority chairperson, Mr. Madhusudan Mistri, has prepared a schedule. Mr. Venugopal will read it out to you after our discussion on Covid-19 and the election results,” she said.

The chief ministers of the grand old party were invited to speak first on the Covid-19 situation. Following their address, general secretaries for the aforementioned states — Jitender Singh for Assam, Tariq Anwar for Kerala, Dinesh Gundurao (in-charge of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry), and Jitin Prasada for West Bengal – were then invited to make their presentations.

“I expect them to brief us very frankly on our performance in their respective states. We want them to tell us why we performed well below expectation. These results tell us clearly that we need to put our house in order,” noted Sonia Gandhi.

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