With the Congress debacle in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls coming as a jolt, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday began the task of analysing the outcome to make the party battle-ready ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi speaks to the media in New Delhi. AP Photo/Pankaj Nangia
Gandhi, who led the party in the crucial polls, held parleys with party candidates who lost despite securing more than 20,000 votes, party sources said.
The two-day exercise, which was earlier scheduled to take place last week, has been launched as part of a move to set the house in order with UP having a crucial role for the party.
Newly elected party MLAs as also MPs from the state have been called on Friday for the much-talked about meeting, the first formal review of the UP polls by Gandhi, who has owned up responsibility for the defeat.
Gandhi had himself led the campaign in UP after being instrumental in securing 22 of the 80 seats in the Lok Sabha polls in the state in 2009 which was seen as a revival of the organisation.
AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, who has been abroad, was not present at the meeting despite being in-charge of the party affairs in the state. Senior leader Mohan Prakash, who had overseen the ticket distribution work in the polls, was also absent.
The exercise could be utilised by some leaders to blame their detractors for the poor show.
The talk in the party is that some Union Ministers from the state may face flak at the meeting for their controversial statements as also moves to corner tickets for their loyalists.
Congress secured just 28 of the 403 seats in the polls, six more than it had bagged in the Assembly polls of 2007.