Congress on Tuesday admitted that the rising prices and the anti-incumbency factor may have cost the party dearly in assembly elections to Punjab and Uttarakhand, both ruled by it.
Putting up a brave face, senior party leader Ambika Soni said the price rise was a matter of concern for the party and the Union Government had been taking several steps to contain it.
"If you have to sustain growth at such high rates, we will have to live with a slightly higher rate of inflation," she said as early trends show Congress losing out to SAD-BJP combine in Punjab and pushed to the backfoot in Uttarakhand. She said the party cannot afford to neglect the urban areas, which has been its traditional stronghold. Soni said the party was fighting incumbency in Punjab, which has a tradition of alternating between Congress and the Akalis.
The party will introspect on the electoral setbacks and the Congress President will call 'all of us' for a dicussion to analyse what went wrong, she added.
She also rubbished infighting as being the reason for the poll debacle, saying Congress was a mass-based party where different opinions and perceptions prevailed. "We are not a cadre-based party like the Communists or to an extent the BJP, which owes allegiance to the Sangh Parivar," she added.
On the possibility of Congress cobbling up an alliance with smaller parties to form the government in Uttarakhand, appeared set to have a hung Assembly, the leadership will explore all possibilites to form a secular front.