Madhya Pradesh Congress in introspective mood after poll defeat

December 9th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhopal, Dec 9 (IANS) Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh Tuesday said “collective responsibility will have to be fixed” for the party’s crushing defeat in the assembly elections and a report on possible reasons for the failure had been sought from each constituency. State Congress president Suresh Pachouri told IANS: “We will introspect. A report has been sought from every constituency and all the senior party leaders will soon sit together to find out the reasons for the defeat.”

“No single person can be held responsible for the impending defeat and collective responsibility will have to be fixed for this defeat also,” Congress spokesman K.K. Misra said.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained power with a comfortable majority, bagging more than 140 of the 230 seats as votes polled Nov 27 in elections to the 230-seat state assembly were counted Monday. The Congress, which bagged 71 seats as against the 38 it won in 2003, had failed to bring all its factional leaders together.

“I and my party accept the mandate and assure the state government of our full cooperation for development,” Pachouri said after the election results were announced.

“Several factors contributed to the Congress’ defeat in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from the faulty distribution of tickets during which each leader was given a quota, the party organisation was in a shambles and various groups pulled in opposite directions,” said poll analyst Vijay Tewari.

“Pachouri made all out efforts to ensure a Congress comeback but he was hamstrung by group politics. Despite his best attempts, he failed to get support from senior party leaders of the state. Although he raised potential electoral issues against the government, the party could not carry forward the message,” said another analyst Girija Shankar.

While the Congress is left pondering what went wrong, the BJP is faced with the task of finalising the list of incumbents for potential cabinet berths.

Though it is likely that Chouhan will have the same ministerial colleagues as in his previous term, he will have to find appropriate replacements for those who could not make it to the house this time.

These include Home Minister Himmat Kothari, Health Minister Gauri Shankar Shejwar, Public Health Engineering Minister Chaudhary Chandrabhan Singh, Panchayat Minister Rustam Singh, Civil Supplies Minister Akhand Pratap Singh and Minister of State for Family Health Nirmala Buria.

“The BJP’s newly elected legislators will meet in Bhopal Dec 10 to choose their leader and then a decision would be taken about cabinet berths,” said BJP spokesman Govind Malu.

Party vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu and general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar will attend the meeting.

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