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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Sonia Gandhi calls for drawing lessons from election setback

IANS  New Delhi, May 24, 2014
First Published: 18:59 IST(24/5/2014) | Last Updated: 20:40 IST(24/5/2014)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday called for drawing "appropriate lessons from unprecedented setback" to the party in the Lok Sabha election and noted that the party was still a formidable group in parliament with its combined strength in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Addressing the first meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) after the general election, Gandhi also disapproved of party leaders venting their feelings in public about the party's loss in the polls.

Gandhi, who was unanimously re-elected CPP chairperson at the meeting, said she was asked by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to take all steps necessary to revamp the organisation at all levels.

"Your inputs, your experience and your assessment of our strengths and weaknesses, rather than public acrimony, will be critical to the exercise," she said.

The Congress was reduced to its worst tally in the Lok Sabha election and could win only 44 seats. It did not win any seat in some states.

Gandhi said the newly-elected parliament members, though victorious, were pained about the larger defeat of the party.

"We have to individually and collectively draw appropriate lessons from this unprecedented setback," Gandhi said.

She said the results should not be allowed to negate the "very far reaching and enduring achievements" of the Congress-led government over the past decade.

"That there was widespread anger against us which we failed to adequately gauge is now obvious. We must understand why this was so and take necessary corrective measures," she said.

Earlier, the Congress Party had said that its president and vice president, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will represent the party at the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister on Monday.

Gandhi had congratulated Modi on his electoral victory, hours after he was elected leader of BJP Parliamentary Party and the NDA.

Modi will become India's 14th Prime Minister on Monday.


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