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Congress to conduct post-mortem today

Sonia Gandhi’s first comments on the UP assembly election results are expected the general body meeting on Wednesday, reports Saroj Nagi.

delhi Updated: May 16, 2007 03:17 IST
Saroj Nagi

Sonia Gandhi’s first comments on the Uttar Pradesh assembly election results are expected when she addresses the general body meeting of the Congress parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday. The observations are bound to be read in the context of the party’s campaign spearheaded by Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress won only 22 seats three short of its 2002 tally of 25. Sonia had seen price rise as a contributory factor for the party’s defeat in Punjab and Uttaranchal and called for a candid assessment on the questions of unity, discipline, candidate selection and failure of sitting MLAs and ministers to retain their seats or address the electorate’s sensitivities.

No one expected the Congress to make a quantum leap. But the party was hoping to win around 40-50 seats so it could play kingmaker in a hung assembly.

“The BSP not only shattered this dream but also now threatens to eat into our base in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi,’’ said a Congress leader from MP. Assembly elections in these states are due in 2008 and in Goa and Gujarat this year; so the party will have to be poll mode till the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

The setback in UP is the seventh major one for the party since 2006. The only bright spots were a Congress victory in Assam and ally DMK’s triumph in Tamil Nadu.