In Chhattisgarh, where the arch-rivals fought neck and neck in the just-concluded Assembly election, the Congress performed very well in the first phase — the 18 constituencies in the Bastar region — but the party faltered in the second phase, it was explained by functionaries at a review meeting conducted by Sonia Gandhi here on Monday.
The BJP, sensing it had not done well in the first phase, summoned its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to address a string of rallies in the second phase, something the Congress failed to counter by getting Ms. Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in to campaign as well during this period, party sources said.
As for Rajasthan, the view was that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s performance in his first three years was inadequate; in the concluding two years, the slew of welfare measures he took were “too little, too late” to counter the anti-incumbency.
In Delhi, it was acknowledged that the Congress failed to sense the groundswell of support for the Aam Aadmi Party and to counter the people’s anger against inordinately high electricity and water bills.
Present at the meeting were Defence Minister A.K. Antony — the person most associated with election post-mortem — and the observers for the States. They included Union Heath Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat and general secretary Mukul Wasnik.