The Congress, in fact, tried to find solace in its increased tally in Gujarat and win in Himachal Pradesh. Finance minister P Chidambaram called it Congress' "victory" because the party had managed to raise its vote share. "BJP attained less than 117 seats in Gujarat, we made significant gains, it's our victory," he said. Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh told HT, “Our victory in Himachal is convincing while the Gujarat defeat is not demoralising.”
Congress leaders point out that the reduction in cap of LPG cylinders — part of the reforms process to reduce subsidy burden — had become BJP's talking point in Himachal Pradesh, but the Congress still managed to win.
Three days before the second phase of polling in Himachal, oil minister Veerappa Moily had announced that the Centre would hike the number of subsidised LPG cylinders and earned the poll panel’s ire.
But Congress' internal assessment at different stages never really gave much hope for the party in Gujarat.