A hiding in the Hindi heartland: Congress swept away in 5 states

Updated: May 24, 2019, 22:02 IST | Agencies

Does poorly in 5 more Hindi belt states, in Gujarat & Karnataka, where it is in power in alliance with JD(S)

A hiding in the Hindi heartland: Congress swept away in 5 states
Illustration/Uday Mohite

New Delhi: The Congress has suffered a massive jolt this general elections by being almost wiped out by the BJP in the Hindi heartland states — Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi. Apart from most states in the Hindi belt, the Congress has also been swept away in Gujarat and is left with just one seat in Karnataka. In 2014, it won 21 seats in these 12 states combined, but it has managed to win only seven this year.

The party's national president, Rahul Gandhi, on Thursday conceded defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who won the second term with sweeping majority. Calling the results "people's mandate", Rahul said, "I congratulate Modiji and BJP for their electoral victory. People of India have decided that Narendra Modi will be the PM again and I fully respect that."

"I accept 100 per cent responsibility," Rahul said at a press conference after it became evident the party was headed for a rout. He sidestepped a question on whether he will resign, saying it was for the CWC to take a call on this. "What matters today is that people have decided Modi is the PM and I respect that," he said. "The Congress will continue to fight its ideological battle with BJP unitedly," he added.

Boosting the morale of the party candidates and workers, he said, "Our candidates fought with all their heart. I say to the people of Congress party and those who believe in our ideology that you do not need to be scared." Gandhi refused to comment on the mandate his party got and congratulated Modi.

"Frankly, today is the not the day to discuss what I think went wrong because people of India have clearly decided that Narendra Modi is going to be their Prime Minister and as an Indian, I respect that," he said.

He conceded defeat in Amethi parliamentary constituency — a bastion of the Nehru-Gandhi family and congratulated his BJP opponent Smriti Irani, whom he defeated with a landslide margin in 2014 general elections. "She has won and I congratulate her," he said. Gandhi has been an MP from the parliamentary constituency since 2004. He is, however, won in Kerala's Wayanad.

After the Congress' drubbing in elections, there were reports that Rahul has offered to resign as party chief. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala termed these as "incorrect".

No. of Hindi belt states where Cong performed poorly

Priyanka congratulates PM Modi, BJP workers
Priyanka Gandhi congratulated PM Narendra Modi and the BJP for winning the LS polls and said she respects the nation's mandate. "We respect people's verdict and congratulate BJP workers and leaders, and PM Modi," Priyanka told ANI. Priyanka aggressively campaigned for the party in 26 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh but the results indicate she failed to make an impact, including in Amethi — the stronghold of the Nehru-Gandhi family.


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