In the wake of the defeats in Kerala and Assam on Thursday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi promised to 'introspect' and work harder.
In a series of tweets, Rahul said: “My best wishes to the parties that have won the elections…We will work harder till we win the confidence and trust of people.”
We will work harder till we win the confidence & trust of people
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) May 19, 2016
We accept the verdict of people with humility. My best wishes to the parties that have won the elections
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) May 19, 2016
“The Indian National Congress accepts the verdict…with utmost humility. We will introspect into the reasons for our loss and will rededicate ourselves to the service of the people with greater vigour,” Sonia Gandhi said.
Assam and Kerala are the two states that slipped away from the hands of Congress on Thursday. Now that the party has Karnataka and six other small states, some party leaders are of the opinion that introspection isn't enough.
“The time for introspection is now past. Time for action has come…It is time to move and it is time to make some visible changes that the world and the country can see,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor told The Indian Express.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that the election results are "not very encouraging" for the party and the current trend is a matter of "serious concern".
"We have done enough introspection. Shouldn’t we go for a major surgery," the party general secretary tweeted.
Today's results disappointing but not unexpected. We have done enough Introspection shouldn't we go for a Major Surgery ?
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) May 19, 2016
Singh told Express that after the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi had asked all senior Congress leaders to submit reports on the road ahead for the party.
"We all submitted our reports, I also did. It is May 2016 and we are still awaiting action. So the question is: how long will the party introspect? Action on what all we told the party leadership is long overdue,” he said.
Meanwhile, reports say Rahul Gandhi could be elevated as Congress President independent of the party suffering a debacle in the current round of Assembly elections.
An indication to this effect was given by party leader when a reporter sought to know whether plans to elevate the 45-year-old Congress Vice President be put on hold in the backdrop of the poll reverses. "Your suggestion is spectacular, we reject it outright," the Congress leader said.
A party leader, who is known to be close to Rahul, said he would be elevated "sooner than you think".
The leader, who declined to be identified, said the long- delayed exercise of reshuffle of the AICC secretariat could also be carried out soon.
"The process of his elevation cannot be stopped, he will be president" said Congress leader PC Chacko.
Earlier this month, party leader Jairam Ramesh had said that the Congress expects Rahul to take over as its chief this year.
Ramesh had made the remarks virtually dismissing reports that he would be projected as the chief ministerial candidate in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2017.
"Rahul Gandhi is MP from Amethi and Vice President of Congress. We all expect him to be the president of the Congress in 2016," Ramesh had said at the AICC briefing.
Rahul was made party Vice President in January 2013 at the Jaipur Chintan shivir held over a year ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in which he was the "face" of the party.
Since then Rahul has been more active in the organisation, with his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi taking a backseat.
There has been talk since last year, soon after his return from his mysterious 56-day sabbatical, that Rahul would take over as the party chief soon.
Soon after the Assembly poll results in five states were out, Congress today virtually threw a protective ring around Rahul by rejecting suggestions that the party Vice President should accept blame for its debacle in four states.
"Every election has its own issues. We do not see state elections in terms of any individual -- Tarun Gogoi or Oommen Chandy. We will analyse causes where we need to do better... We will disucss this in a cordial atmosphere," the party's Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
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