Need to put our house in order: Sonia Gandhi takes note of 'serious setbacks' in assembly polls during CWC meeting

Interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi, during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday, said the party has to take note of its serious setbacks in assembly polls, and face the reality to draw the right lessons.

While addressing CWC meeting, Gandhi said she intends to set up a small group to look at every aspect that caused such reverses.

The meeting of the top Congress body has been convened to deliberate and introspect on the party's poor performance in the just-concluded assembly elections.

The Congress fared poorly, drawing a blank in West Bengal and failing to win back power in Kerala and Assam, besides losing Puducherry. The party only came to power with the help of its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu.

"We have to take note of our serious setbacks. To say that we are deeply disappointed is to make an understatement. I intend to set up a small group to look at every aspect that caused such reverses and report back very quickly," she told the meeting in her inaugural address.

Gandhi said the party needs to candidly understand "why in Kerala and Assam we failed to dislodge the incumbent governments, and why in West Bengal we drew a complete blank".

"These will yield uncomfortable lessons, but if we do not face up to the reality, if we do not look the facts in the face, we will not draw the right lessons," she noted.

Gandhi also said that the schedule to elect the new Congress president would also be discussed at the meeting.

She also hit out at the Modi government over the handling of the pandemic situation.

"The situation has become even more catastrophic. Governance failures have become even more stark. Scientific advice has been willfully ignored and the country is paying a horrendous price for the Modi government's neglect of the pandemic, indeed its willful patronage of super-spreader events that were allowed for partisan gains," she said.

The CWC meet was convened to assess the party's losses in the recently-concluded Assembly polls in four states and a Union Territory, amid demands from its leaders for a serious introspection over its poor performance at the hustings.

The polls were held in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The Congress has lost most of the elections since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and though it has managed to win in Tamil Nadu, it was with the support of its bigger ally and regional player Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

The grand old party lost the Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Haryana elections in 2019 and the Delhi and Bihar polls last year.

It only won in Jharkhand along with its ally Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

In the recently-concluded Assembly polls, the party failed to wrest back power in Kerala and Assam and drew a blank in West Bengal. It also lost out in Puducherry.

The deliberations would help the Congress prepare for the next round of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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