In remarks that could spell another controversy for the Congress, AICC secretary Sanjay Nirupam on Saturday said "even Narendra Modi would have badly lost in the Lok Sabha elections had he contested on a Congress ticket".
Nirupam, who lost from the Mumbai North constituency, told reporters that despite several decisions taken by it for the welfare of the people, a severe anti-incumbency wave had worked against the Congress-led UPA coalition.
"We were in the government for 10 years and, due to many factors, there was public anger against the Congress.
"There was such strong a sentiment against the Congress that even Narendra Modi would have lost badly had he contested on a Congress ticket," said Nirupam.
Nirupam, however, insisted that the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections may not play out again in states such as Maharashtra, where assembly elections are due by the year-end.
The BJP won 282 seats in the just-concluded general elections while the Congress has managed to send only 44 members to the 16th Lok Sabha.
"This election was different. Certain decisions were taken during the 10 years (of UPA rule) due to which there was anger among the people. There were also issues of price rise and corruption and BJP blew it out of proportion. But every election is a learning (process).
"(But) this is not a permanent trend, I do not think the results of assembly elections will be similar to that of the Lok Sabha polls," averred Nirupam.