- Party leaders want to know what the Congress' survival plan is
- Questions have been raised on Rahul Gandhi's leadership
- He has been accused of not being able to connect with people
An exercise has now begun, sources close to Congress President Sonia Gandhi told NDTV, to start speaking to leaders in states where elections will be held. "We have started introspection and a Congress working committee will be held soon," said her deputy and son Rahul Gandhi, whose leadership has been questioned after the party's most recent debacle.
Mrs Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have been in Delhi and have attended parliament - Mrs Gandhi returned from a trip abroad for medical treatment days after assembly election results were announced - but there has been no meeting yet of the Congress' Working Committee, its highest decision making body, to assess the elections results.
Rahul Gandhi said soon after the election results that structural and organizational changes are required to revive the party. But he has not followed that up with any kind of action.
Questions have been raised on Mr Gandhi's leadership with the Congress failing to take on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi effectively. Mr Gandhi has also been accused of not being able to connect with the people.
In Goa, where the BJP formed government by swiftly ensuring the support of small regional parties even though the Congress had won more seats, a prominent leader who quit the Congress in disgust predicted today that the party would win "20 seats" in the next national elections in 2019. It had won 44 in its lowest ever tally in 2014.
Viswajit Rane, who was considered one of the Congress' frontrunners for Goa Chief Minister, singled out Rahul Gandhi for blame for the party's in an interview with news agency IANS. "The Congress has a non-serious leader called Rahul Gandhi. He is not serious about the people of the state who give you a mandate, not serious about government formation. He is not even accessible. Seriousness of a leader is very important for a party to grow," he said. Mr Rane is the son of former Goa Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane, said in an interview to IANS.
In the assembly elections in five states, the BJP swept UP and Uttarakhand, but placed behind the Congress in Manipur and Goa, both of which did not give a majority to any party. The BJP has formed government in all four states; the Congress' consolation prize was a big win in Punjab, for which party veteran and present Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has been credited.