Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accepted responsibility for the party's disastrous showing in Uttar Pradesh where he aggressively led the election campaign.
Rahul Gandhi speaks to supporters during an election rally in Jewar. AFP/Prakash Singh
"I fought, so it is my responsibility (for what happened)," Gandhi told reporters here, as it became clear
that the Samajwadi Party was poised to take power in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress was decimated, winning barely 27 of 403 seats -- marginally more than the 22 it won five years ago.
"We fought well but the results are not so good," he said, looking tired but managing a smile now and then.
"I promised to the people of UP that I will be seen with the poor, on the roads and fields.
"My work will continue. My efforts will be to re-erect the Congress in UP."
Gandhi said it was too early to explain why the Congress was routed.
"One or two reasons are very clear... Organisationally we are not where we should be. And the general mood was for the Samajwadi Party...
"The Congress fundamentals were weak. Until we set that right, that weakness will not go away.
"Overall our position has improved but it has to be taken forward."
Gandhi politely sidestepped questions as to why all Congress candidates lost even in Rae Bareli, his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency.
"We have not done well in the whole of UP," he said.
"I view my work as working for the people of this country, trying to improve the political system of this country.
"Certainly I expect to have victories on my way, and defeats. It will be a good lesson for me."