Cong blames the division in secular votes for poor performance
The Congress defeat in its stronghold in Nagpur was particularly galling, reports Saroj Nagi.Updated: Feb 03, 2007, 00:31 IST
The Congress blamed the division in secular votes for the party’s poor performance in the Maharashtra civic polls but did not rule out the option of a post-poll tie up with like- minded forces, including the NCP, to capture power in half a dozen corporations where the verdict was not clear. This includes Sholapur, Akola, Nasik and Amravati.
The two parties, which were fighting to occupy the space they thought was being vacated by a divided Shiv Sena and a BJP in disarray, instead saw their revival so much so that they captured the important corporations of Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune.
Abhishek Singhvi, party spokesman, refused to indulge in a blame game saying that there was no use crying over spilt milk. But, he added, the Congress had made an honest attempt to consolidate secular forces against the BJP-Shiv Sena. ``Our conscience is clear,’’ he said. Quizzed whether it meant that the NCP was responsible for the division, he said: ``Certainly, anybody who has not contributed in consolidating secular votes must be blamed.’’
But in view of the fact that the two parties had contested separately last time, the logic of a split in the secular vote did not appear to hold much ground.
Margaret Alva, AICC general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, briefed Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the party’s performance when the results came in.
The Congress defeat in its stronghold in Nagpur was particularly galling. Sources said that the party would call for a report on the wranglings between Vilas Muttemwar, Union minister, and Satish Chaturvedi, state Minister, that cost the Congress heavy in the elections. Elsewhere, it will introspect on the reasons for its poor show.