Congress accepts defeat in Gujarat, congratulates Modi


New Delhi : A dejected Congress party Sunday conceded defeat in the Gujarat assembly election, saying Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s victory was a “remarkable achievement”.

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“We are deeply disappointed with the Gujarat results,” Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, speaking on behalf of his party, said here.

“We will have to analyse (what went wrong). (Our) confidence was misplaced. While we have made no substantial gains, Modi has held on to its lead, almost held on to its lead, which is a remarkable achievement,” the minister said.

He said the Congress would do a detailed analysis of the verdict in Gujarat, where election officials said the BJP could end up with 120 seats in the 182-member assembly, only marginally less than what it won in 2002.

“We will have to see the patterns of voting, which community voted for whom. Now that he (Modi) has won, he has to be congratulated for winning, and we have to analyse the reasons he got the kind of support from the people of Gujarat.

“We accept the verdict of the people, which we must in a democracy. And move along.”

Sibal, however, denied that the Gujarat result would impact the national politics.

B.K. Hariprasad, the Congress general secretary in charge of Gujarat, accepted responsibility for the party’s rout.

“I take the responsibility for the results. It is my failure,” Hariprasad told IANS here.

He admitted that the party’s calculations about the BJP rebels, who had been expected to make a major impact particularly in Saurashtra, had gone wrong. “Our expectations about the rebels went wrong.”

Central minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, a former BJP chief minister of Gujarat who is now with the Congress, said: “It is the mandate of the people. I congratulate the BJP for the hat trick. It is a defeat for Congress. The BJP made issues of non-issues.”