Sharmistha Mukherjee
Sharmistha Mukherjee
Twitter: Sharmistha Mukherjee's handle

On Wednesday, Congress leader P Chidambaram said AAP's win is a "booster for the confidence" of the Opposition that the BJP can be defeated in every state. He said people of Delhi have defeated the "polarising, divisive and dangerous" agenda of the BJP.

Chidambaram said the Delhi vote was close to an all India vote than to a state-specific vote as the national capital is a "mini India".

"Remember, when Delhi voted, millions of Malayalees, Tamils, Telugus, Bengalis, Gujaratis and people who came from other states of India voted. If the voters represent the views of the states they came from, the Delhi vote is a booster for the confidence of the Opposition that the BJP can be defeated in every state," he said.

However, Sharmistha Mukherjee – one of the key figures of Delhi’s Congress team and head of Delhi Mahila Congress– lashed out at her senior party member and wondered if Congress had outsourced the ‘task of defeating BJP to state parties’.

She asked: “With due respect sir, just want to know- has @INCIndiaoutsourced the task of defeating BJP to state parties? If not, then why r we gloating over AAP victory rather than being concerned abt our drubbing? And if ‘yes’, then we (PCCs) might as well close shop!”

Incidentally, the former President Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram didn’t get along very well even when they were Union Ministers in UPA. Pranab Mukherjee has admitted to having ‘differences’ with his former colleague. When Pranab Mukherjee raised eyebrows by willing to be the chief guest at the annual RSS event, P Chidambaram asked him to tell them what’s wrong with their ideology.

Meanwhile, Subramanian Swamy had claimed that former Home Minister P Chidambaram had ‘bugged’ Pranab Mukherjee’s office at Sonia Gandhi’s behest.

Not even Delhi 6% - Cong gets 4.27% votes

From being a political force that ruled the national capital for 15 years in a row, the Congress stands decimated after the Delhi election results, failing to win for the second consecutive time even a seat and its vote share getting reduced to its lowest ever of 4.27 per cent.

The grand old party of Indian politics was out of the race in each of the 70 constituencies by distant margins with 63 of its candidates losing their security deposits.

Lack of a credible face, weak strategy and candidates led to the washout of the party in Delhi, where it was seen as a reluctant contestant that lacked the fighting spirit.

Cong maintains seat count

The Congress did not win any seat in the 2015 assembly elections but had managed to garner a 9.7 per cent vote share. This time, it stood decimated further after it ceded its vote bank.

The party also started its campaign late after most of its bigwigs in Delhi opted out of the race on being asked by the party leadership to contest.

Party insiders feel their top leaders - Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi - did not campaign enough. Rahul addressed four poll rallies and sister Priyanka two. Their campaign, however, did not help the party much as their candidates lost their security deposits in all the constituencies where the two leaders addressed poll rallies.

Missing Sheila Dikshit

The Congress failed to win the hearts of Delhiites with the work initiated during Sheila Dikshit's rule from 1998 to 2013 and the contest ended as a bipolar one between the AAP and the BJP.

This humiliating defeat in Delhi does not bode well for the party with Bihar and West Bengal assembly polls slated later this year.

The Delhi results might have a negative effect on Congress prospects in upcoming assembly elections, where it has improved its position by bringing more states under its ambit with the help of allies.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party's defeat in Delhi is disappointing but claimed that "we have, however, not lost the battle".

"The Congress party will go back to the drawing board, recalibrate its policy and strategy and build a new fresh leadership from the grassroots up. We are determined to raise people's voice in Delhi as a responsible opposition and stakeholder in the progress of the national capital," Surjewala told PTI.

He added that Delhi polls have taught a lesson to political parties as to how a national party should not conduct a venomous, hate campaign. "It is a rejection of the politics and leadership of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah for the vision and vitriolic poll campaign of shooting people, electrocuting them and dividing them, has been decimated by Delhi voters," he said.

The Congress contested the polls this time in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, fighting on 66 seats and leaving four for its ally.

On how the Delhi poll will affect the party prospects, Surjewala said the "Congress party is determined to wrest Bihar all over again from the hands of the NDA and become a political force in coming elections in West Bengal".

With inputs from PTI

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