New Delhi : The lack of unity and co-ordination among party leaders in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are the two main factors that led to the defeat of the Congress in assembly elections, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Thursday.
Addressing the general body meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), Gandhi described the two states as traditional party strongholds and said: “There are a number of reasons behind this setback. To my mind the lack of unity and co-ordination amongst our colleagues in these two states has been the main factor.
“We have increased the number of seats and our vote share (in the two states). But that is a small consolation. We must learn appropriate lessons from these defeats,” she said.
Gandhi, however, said the results of the assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan and Mizoram have enthused and re-energised party workers across the country.
“The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) had predicted that the Congress would lose all the states. It had politicised the Mumbai terrorist attacks in the most provocative way. The people of Delhi rejected such vicious propaganda and have given our party another term even after 10 years in office,” she said.
While terming the victory in Mizoram as “resounding”, she said the party was back in Rajasthan after a disappointing show in 2003.
She urged party leaders to prepare for the parliamentary elections, widely expected in April-May next year.
“The house is scheduled to meet in mid-February 2009. There are many challenges to be met. All of us have to work very hard, both individually and collectively in cohesion.”
Citing the passing of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) bill and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha and the parliamentary clearance of a bill relating to social security for workers in the unorganised sector, Sonia said the party could substantially fulfil its legislative agenda “in this very short” parliament session.
Gandhi, chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), said India cannot remain completely insulated from the “recession in the world economy”.
“I am told that the next few months are not going to be easy, even though the rate of inflation continues to fall,” she said.
“It is a fact that our economy is showing resilience. It would not be an exaggeration to say that amongst all the major economies of the world, India does stand out for showing economic growth.”
Gandhi also praised the courage and bravery shown by security personnel and policemen during the “barbaric” terrorist attacks on Mumbai that left over 170 Indians and foreigners dead Nov 26-29.