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Congress meet to review debacle today, Sonia, Rahul unlikely to quit

May 19, 2014 09:05 AM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: The Congress party is set to review the party's election debacle at the working committee meet on Monday. Sources say that a review panel is likely to be appointed to analyse why the party failed to get even 50 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

Sources say that it is unlikely that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi will be held responsible for the election results. While Sonia and Rahul are reportedly unlikely to resign, sources add that even if Rahul does offer to resign, the CWC is unlikely to accept it.

Sources say that Congress leaders have taken the collective responsibility of shielding Rahul. However, there are murmurs within the party of some leaders questioning his leadership. Sources say that the demand is growing within the party to bring Priyanka Gandhi to the centrestage.

Sonia and Rahul appeared had before the media on Friday and took personal responsibility for the drubbing that left the party with just 44 seats in a House of 543, a huge climbdown from 206 seats it had in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

Accountability should be clearly fixed and action taken wherever there are individual responsibilities, a party leader said. "Serious introspection is needed but surely not like in the past when suggestions arising out of the introspection were never implemented," Anil Shastri, who is a Special Invitee to the CWC said on Twitter.

He is believed to have written a blunt letter to the Congress Vice President on what went wrong and what needs to be done to get the party back on rails. Shastri, son of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, has been maintaining ever since results were out that the party needs "serious introspection" and immediate corrective measures to check problems like party hoppers managing to get tickets and old-time partymen being ignored in the process.

In ten states, Congress scored zero. They include Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Odisha and Rajasthan. In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, it has got two seats each and in Chhattisgarh one. The defeat was so glaring that BJP got more seats in Uttar Pradesh alone than the total tally of Congress.

There is also a view that Congress has paid the price for not having strong regional leaders and "ignoring" a few of them, who could have held the fort. A general view in the Congress is that the issue of price rise and corruption went against the party and the situation was exploited to the hilt by Narendra Modi by tapping the anti-incumbency sentiment.

(With additional information from PTI)