NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi yesterday took responsibility for the party’s worst ever drubbing in the Lok Sabha election. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who won easily from Rae Bareli unlike her son Rahul Gandhi, added: “The people’s verdict is against us.”
Addressing a brief news conference after it became clear that party would be relegated to a poor 50-odd seats, Sonia Gandhi said: “We with all humility accept the mandate of the people and hope that the new government at the centre will uphold the unity and interests of the country.”
“As president I take responsibility for the defeat,” she said and also congratulated the new government without naming BJP leader Narendra Modi, who is set to become the new Prime Minister of India. A smiling Rahul Gandhi said he wanted to congratulate the new government. The Congress won 206 seats in 2009. It did not win a single seat in seven states and it was unlikely to win more than 10 seats in any state. The worst ever performance by the Congress has reduced it to such a level that the party may even lose the status of opposition in Lok Sabha. Though it still has the highest numerical strength among all opposition parties, its tally does not constitute the one-tenth strength (54) of the Lok Sabha — making it ineligible for being considered as the party whose member can be a leader of the opposition.