The Congress leadership on Friday held separate meetings to review its performances in the assembly polls in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, and said its defeat in the two states at the hands of the BJP was unexpected. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had convened the review meeting at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in Delhi where former party chief Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders were also present.
“Today, a meeting to review the election results of Chhattisgarh was held at the Congress headquarters in Delhi. Senior Congress leaders including Congress president Mallikarjun kharge and Rahul Gandhi were present in this meeting,” the party said, sharing pictures of the review meeting on the election results of Chhattisgarh.
Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal said the state Congress chiefs have been instructed to submit a booth-wise report on the party’s performance. “We will strengthen our connect with the people and unitedly fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections to unseat the BJP government.” AICC general secretary in-charge for Chhattisgarh Kumari Selja said they are dejected but not demoralised and would together contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and win. She said the party has not lost its vote share and added it would carry out a detailed analysis on the poll results in the state.
“Today a review meeting related to the election results of Chhattisgarh was held, where everyone expressed their views. We lost the Chhattisgarh elections, but our vote percentage has not reduced. We have gained the trust of the public,” she said.
“We are disappointed, but not in despair. In the coming times, we will fight the Lok Sabha elections together,” she said.
Ms Selja said the final results were unexpected, belying all the surveys, opinion polls and expectations, but the party has retained the confidence and faith of people in the state.
She said the party’s vote share was same as it was in 2018 and it is no mean achievement to retain the vote share for five years. This, she observed, meant that people had liked the policies of the government.
The Congress general secretary maintained that while the results were disappointing, the morale of the party’s rank and file was high.
Ms Selja expressed confidence that the party will perform better in the parliamentary elections as people still have faith and trust in the Congress party as was evident in the voting pattern. She also pointed out that the election was not a one-sided affair as in several constituencies the party candidates lost by slim margins.
She said party leaders and workers will continue to reach out to the people in connection with the preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Randeep Surjewala later told reporters that the reasons for the party’s defeat in Madhya Pradesh were also discussed in a cordial atmosphere.
“We openly discussed the reasons for the party’s defeat and leaders analysed the shortcomings of the party within the forum,” he said.
“The Congress president heard us patiently. All the leaders authorised him to take a decision on how to strengthen the organisation. We urged him to hold a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party in Madhya Pradesh and appoint an observer for its next meeting to enable it to elect the new leader of opposition,” Surjewala said.
He thanked the voters of Madhya Pradesh and said the party would continue to act as guardians of people’s rights in Madhya Pradesh and will continue to serve them and protect their rights.
Asked whether the issue of EVMs was also raised, he said, “All issues were raised at the meeting but it is not appropriate to raise them in public.” “The results are disappointing and are not as per our expectations,” he noted.
Among the party leaders who attended the Chhattisgarh review meet were AICC General Secretary (Organisation) K C Venugopal, Congress screening committee head and observer Ajay Maken, former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, his former deputy CM T S Singh Deo and former ministers Tamradhwaj Sahu and PCC president Deepak Baij and other senior leaders.
In the Madhya Pradesh review meeting, AICC general secretary in-charge Randeep Surjewala, PCC president Kamal Nath, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh and AICC screening committee head Jitendra Singh were present among other leaders from the state.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)