Zee Research Group/Delhi
Participating in power packed discussion throughout the verdict day on Sunday, senior Congress leaders admitted to defeat but were keen to shield their leader Rahul Gandhi against any criticism. The AAP breakthrough came in as a “big surprise” to them. Among those who participated in discussion included senior party leaders like Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Raj Babbar and Akhilesh Pratap Singh.
Adopting a defensive strategy, Congress leaders argued on television that neither the party nor the party Vice- President, Rahul Gandhi had ever projected him as the “face” of the party. Congress spokesperson, Raj Babbar told Zee News, “Rahul Gandhi has never said that he is the face of Congress.”
Another Congress spokesperson, Abhishek Manu Singhvi endorsed the view. He said, I have never said that there is a Rahul wave in the country”.
Senior Congress leader, Akhilesh Pratap Singh, however, believed defeat in state elections did not make any impact on the impact of Rahul Gandhi as a leader. Participating in a morning panel discussion on Zee News, he said, “Rahul Gandhi is a star and will remain always so”.
On crushing defeat of Congress in Delhi, actor turned politician Babbar said, “It’s not the win of BJP but Congress has weakened as an organization”. He credited Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) more than BJP for party’s defeat in Delhi. “It’s not BJP but AAP that has weakened Congress in Delhi”, Babbar added.
Singhvi accepted that the mandate is anti-Congress. He averred, “The mandate is against the Congress and the result is very disappointing”.
UP Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi also showed her disappointment over party’s defeat, especially in Delhi. “We are highly disappointed by the result in Delhi”.
She was also of the opinion that youth wanted a change in Delhi and high inflation also adversely impacted the party. She opined, “First time voters in Delhi wanted a change. Inflation was the main issue in this election which affected Congress chances.”