The first family of the Congress, the Gandhis are in a huddle following the dramatic loss with future seems to be bleakest as the Congress could not touch even the three-figure mark.
Both Priyanka Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi reached out to Rahul Gandhi as they met for half an hour for a family huddle for the future course of action. Rahul Gandhi may submit resignation, which will be mostly a tokenism.
This is the second disaster in a row after 2014. In 2014, the party had won 44 seats, its lowest tally ever however this time they are leading in 56 seats, up by just 12 seats.
The Congress struggled to even touch three figures while its chief Rahul Gandhi fought a tough battle in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, a Gandhi family stronghold and one of the party’s surest seats till now. The party’s star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi had spent much time in the constituency.
Sources say the Gandhis met for over half an hour. Sources say the Congress had not estimated such a poor performance and now fears its state governments in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan would be targeted.
Many senior Congress leaders, say sources, are questioning Rahul Gandhi’s leadership and his continuing as party president, sources say. Mr Gandhi’s aggressive “Chowkidar Chor Hai” campaign flopped miserably, leaders said, or even, actually backfired. Rahul Gandhi used the phrase at all his rallies as he targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale jet deal, accusing him of crony capitalism.
Among the points that the party will assess is whether Priyanka Gandhi’s debut made any difference at all, especially in Uttar Pradesh, where she ran an exhaustive campaign.
Congress leaders call it a clear mandate against vote bank politics like minority appeasement and caste politics. They also noted that the Congress did not have a leader to project against PM Modi.