- In 2015, AAP won 67 of 70 seats, leaving 3 for the BJP, none for Congress
- Congress ruled in Delhi under Sheila Dikshit between 1998-2013
- Congress sorely misses Sheila Dikshit's persona: Abhishek Manu Singhvi
As the Congress stared at a duck in the second consecutive election in Delhi, its leaders went public with harsh and unfiltered critique about the party's future and the need to act now. "Decimated again," tweeted Congress leaders like Sharmishtha Mukherjee and Khushbu Sundar.
The Congress, which ruled the capital for three straight terms under Sheila Dikshit - between 1998 and 2013 -- maintained a steady score of zero as AAP took a big lead and the BJP upped its tally since 2015. Reports suggest the party has lost its deposit in most seats - meaning the number of votes it won were too low.
"Today we should not use the word 'introspection'. 'Action' sounds much better, " tweeted Sanjay Jha. The Congress leader added that the party needed "complete reinvention and needed to look different".
"The first step to renewal is accepting the reality of a serious problem. Living in denial is postponing the inevitable. The Congress party needs a complete reinvention, and it needs to look different in 6 months maximum. It cannot be a five-year project," Mr Jha tweeted.
Another Congress leader, Jaiveer Shergill, listed what the party must not do today - justify its defeat, find happiness in BJP defeat and tell themselves that in elections, wings and losses are cyclic.
Wasnt expecting magic in Delhi for #Congress Decimated yet again. Are we doing enough? Are we doing it right? Are we on the right track? NO is the big answer. We need to start working now. Its now or never. Ground level,middle level n top level. Things need to be set right.— KhushbuSundar ❤️ (@khushsundar) February 11, 2020
3 Things Congress should NOT do today:— Jaiveer Shergill (@JaiveerShergill) February 11, 2020
1. Justify own defeat
2. Find happiness in BJP defeat
3. Tell themselves that in Election wins & losses are cyclic
Congratulations to @AamAadmiParty for a well deserved victory & running a focussed campaign.
In 2015, AAP had won 67 of 70 seats, leaving only three for the BJP and none for the Congress.
On social media, the Congress was on the receiving end of jokes, memes and harsh analysis. The only role ascribed to the party was to help its arch-rival BJP in several seats, narrowing its margin with AAP. As very early leads showed one seat for the Congress, posts on Twitter noted "huge gains" for the party.
The Congress had "maintained its position" in Delhi, joked many Twitter users. Many Congress leaders admitted that the party "sorely misses Sheila Dikshit", the three-time chief minister who became the face of development in the capital. Ms Dikshit died last year, leaving a huge leadership vacuum in the Delhi Congress.
"As far as the Congress is concerned, we sorely miss Sheila Dikshit's persona. We lost a tall leader and we could not pitch anyone else effectively," said senior leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
"I am happy to the extent that BJP is not winning it. AAP's victory is less disappointing to me. AAP has done some good work in education," he added.
Another leader, Sanjay Jha, was asked on its leadership crisis at the national level and whether Rahul Gandhi's narrative had flopped. "The fact that we haven't been able to sort out our leadership issues now, it does demoralize the workers," Mr Jha said.
"We are letting the party down by not being decisive. There cannot be a better time for Congress to come back," he pointed out.