- Congress failed to win even one seat in Rajasthan
- The crisis comes amid Rahul Gandhi's talk about chief ministers, leaders
- State ministers said the party should review the defeat in detail
The Rajasthan Congress, which failed to win even one of the state's 25 Lok Sabha seats, is battling an internal crisis. While two of its ministers have demanded accountability, there have been reports that one minister is on his way out, citing the party's dismal performance. The crisis comes amid Rahul Gandhi's tough talk on Saturday about senior leaders and Chief Ministers who fielded their sons in the election and confined themselves to their campaign, instead of working for the party campaign across the states.
The Congress on Monday said the working committee focused on the party's performance and not about "casting aspersions on the role or conduct of any specific individual". But there have been speculations that Mr Gandhi's words, among others, were directed at Rajasthan Chief Minster Ashok Gehlot, whose son Vaibhav Gehlot contested and lost from his home turf, Jodhpur.
Mr Gehlot, who was present at the meeting, later admitted to the media that the matter was discussed. Insisting that it was an "internal matter of the party", he said Congress president "has the right to point out any shortcomings in Congress leaders".
The record has not been good for other Congress lawmakers and ministers either.
A detailed analysis shows that in the 200 seats in the assembly in Rajasthan the BJP in this Lok Sabha election took a lead in 185 assembly segments. In Sawai Madhopur's Tonk - the constituency of Sachin Pilot -- Congress candidate Namo Narayan Meena lost to the BJP's Sukhbir Jaunpuria by around 1 lakh votes.
State ministers Udai Lal Anjana and Ramesh Meena have said the party should review the defeat in detail so it can stand up and perform well in upcoming local body elections in the state.
"The results were beyond expectations. Voters were swayed by the issue of nationalism raised by the BJP. Our leaders, too, made full efforts, but it was not acceptable to the people," Mr Anjana told reporters.
A minister, meanwhile, has announced on social media that he is stepping down. The whereabouts of Lal Chand Kataria, known to be a loyalist of Ashok Gehlot, is not known and there is no confirmation that he has actually resigned.
According to the "press release" that's being circulated on social media, Mr Kataria said he considered it morally inappropriate to continue as Minister after the party's defeat. "This resignation should not be connected to any other factor," the "press release" read.