Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday attributed the poor showing of the party in the Assembly elections in the four northern States to fallacious campaigning of the BJP which misrepresented facts and threw a blanket over the achievements of the Congress-led governments.
Talking to presspersons here on Sunday before leaving for New Delhi, Mr. Kharge said that the Congress respected the verdict of the people and it would introspect the reasons for the defeat after getting full details, including the voting pattern in the four States.
He said that the Congress governments in Rajasthan and Delhi had done “some very good work” and had initiated several welfare measures and also development work. The party expected a good showing in these two States besides turning the tables in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. “The antipincumbency factor had also worked against the party in Delhi and Rajasthan,” he said.
To a question, Mr. Kharge said that these results cannot be a referendum on the performance of the UPA government at the Centre nor could they be taken as a trendsetter for the Lok Sabha elections slated for May next year.
“The Assembly elections were fought on local issues and various other regional factors, while the Lok Sabha elections are fought on national issues and the performance of the party in the Assembly elections cannot be equated with its potential to win the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
He said that there were precedents (in 1999 and 2004) when the Congress fared badly in the Assembly elections which preceded the Lok Sabha elections but did very well in the Lok Sabha elections.
Asked whether these results would have any impact on the stability of the UPA government and whether the Lok Sabha elections would be advanced, Mr. Kharge replied in the negative and said that none of the secular parties would support the BJP to bring down the UPA government.
Mr. Kharge said that the people of the country would support the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections and several pro-people steps taken by the government, including the Food Security Bill, MGNREGA, Right to Education Act, would help it stand in good stead in the Lok Sabha elections.