Congress' dismal performance in the recently-held Bihar Assembly elections has drawn criticism from all quarters, with party leaders Kapil Sibal and Karti Chidambaram demanding introspection.
"First of all, we Congressmen must recognise that we are in decline. Ever since the communication revolution took place, elections have turned into a presidential contest. The Congress needs to discover itself. In this presidential form of election we must find answers and then decide what we need to do. If we are not able to recognise our shortcomings, then even the electoral process will not lead to the desired results," Sibal said in an interview to the Indian Express.
"The culture of nominations must go. Elections through nominations will not lead to the desired results. Some of us put our pen to paper and said what should be done in the Congress on the road ahead. Instead of listening to us they turned their back on us. The results are for all to see," he added.
"Its time we introspect, ideate, consult & act @INCIndia," tweeted Congress MP Karti Chidambaram. He made the cryptic comment while tagging a tweet by senior party colleague Kapil Sibal on his interview about the Bihar poll outcome.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Tariq Anwar said that the Bihar leadership is at fault and not the party high command. "We need to discuss our performance in Bihar. Although, it is not party's national issue but of Bihar alone. As far as central leadership is concerned, they supported us. It is Bihar leadership's fault for not using opportunity properly," he said.
In an interview to PTI, Anwar said the delay in finalising seat sharing for Bihar elections adversely impacted the Mahagathbandhan’s poll performance, adding that the Congress must learn from it and complete alliance formalities well in advance for upcoming assembly polls.
Anwar also acknowledged that there were shortcomings due to which the Congress performed worse than other Mahagathbandhan constituents. He asserted that the high command was serious about an introspection as well as a thorough analysis of the results.
For the uninitiated, Congress won a meagre 19 out of the 70 seats it contested in Bihar. RJD's Tejashwi Yadav-led Mahagathbandhan of which the Congress was the second major partner ended up with 110 seats while the NDA retained power in a close contest, bagging 125 seats in the 243-member assembly in the recent polls.
(With input from agencies)