After its defeat in Gujarat, the Congress is looking for the proverbial silver lining in its dark clouds in the state.
The party believes that its tally could have been higher than the 59 it got but for the fact that it lost four seats by less than 1000 votes and another 20 by less than 5000. This excludes the 13 seats it now claims it lost in North Gujarat because of Congress rebels, claim party leaders.
As some local Congress leaders had backed these rebels, the party is likely to initiate action against them. In fact, when Sonia Gandhi called a meeting of leaders who were handling the Gujarat elections, AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik had reportedly urged strong action against those who played saboteurs by supporting the rebels.
However, any action would be initiated only after the state unit formally sends its report to the party High Command, providing instances of such anti-party activity. “If anyone has deliberately worked against the party, action can be taken against them,” said spokesman Shakeel Ahmed while responding to a query whether any responsibility would be fixed for the debacle in the polls where the party had even nurtured dreams of ousting Modi from power.
Sources said that Sonia even told the meeting, which she called to take stock of the Gujarat result, that she did not think the party would do so badly.