New Delhi: Accepting responsibility for the party's worst-ever defeat, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi today conceded that the mandate in the Lok Sabha polls was "clearly against" the Congress and said there was "lot for us to think about".
Holding that Congress faced its opponents on the basis of its policies, achievements and principles, the Congress President said, "Still we could not get the support we expected."
Rahul Gandhi. File Pic
"As President of the party, I take responsibility for the defeat," Gandhi told reporters at the AICC headquarters. Rahul, who was anointed the campaign chief of the party in January, also said that as the Vice President of the party, he holds himself responsible for what has happened. "From my part, Congress party has done pretty badly.
There is lot for us to think about and as the Vice President of the party, I hold myself responsible for what has happened". At the outset, he congratulated the BJP for getting the mandate to form the new government.
Both Sonia and Rahul did not take any questions. At one point when Rahul Gandhi appeared to be ready to respond to questions, the Congress President gestured him and both of them left the spot despite reporters bombarding them with questions. In her brief address, the Congress President said, "We accept that victory and defeat happens in a democracy. This mandate is clearly against us, our party.
We accept politely this decision of voters and respect it. But at the same time, we also hope that the next government will not make any compromise with the unity of the Indian society and the interests of the nation".
She also said that as far as Congress is concerned, it will keep fighting to preserve its basic principles and ideals as well as its traditions and will make "no compromise" with them. The Congress President also thanked voters as also party workers for whatever support it has got.