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Sonia calls for drawing lessons from poll setback


New Delhi, May 24:

Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday called for drawing “appropriate lessons from unprecedented setback” to the party in the Lok Sabha election and noted that the party was a formidable group in parliament with its combined strength in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Sonia Gandhi (Photo: IANS)Addressing the first meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) after the general election, Gandhi also disapproved of party leaders venting in public their feelings about the party’s loss in the polls.

Gandhi, who was unanimously re-elected CPP chairperson at the meeting, said she was asked by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to take all steps necessary to revamp the organisation at all levels.

“Your inputs, your experience and your assessment of our strengths and weaknesses, rather than public acrimony, will be critical to the exercise,” she said.

The Congress was reduced to its worst tally in the Lok Sabha election and could win only 44 seats. It did not win any seat in some states.

Gandhi said the newly-elected parliament members, though victorious, were pained about the larger defeat of the party.

“We have to individually and collectively draw appropriate lessons from this unprecedented setback,” Gandhi said.

She said the results should not be allowed to negate the “very far reaching and enduring achievements” of the Congress-led government over the past decade.

“That there was widespread anger against us which we failed to adequately gauge is now obvious. We must understand why this was so and take necessary corrective measures,” she said.