Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said the Bihar Assembly election results indicated that the party should start from scratch in the State.

“As far as our party is concerned, we did not have much hope. We took a deliberate decision not to work in alliance with other parties. Results obviously indicate that our party has to start from scratch to rebuild itself and that is what we plan to do,” she said. “I congratulate Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on his success,” she added.

The Congress was not willing to admit that AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi's hectic campaigning had not translated into votes. Party's Bihar in-charge Mukul Wasnik said people, particularly youth, attended Mr. Gandhi's rallies in huge numbers, but they did not necessarily vote for the Congress.

“I take responsibility for the party's defeat,” he told journalists on Wednesday, adding that the party would look into the reasons for the debacle.

Party spokesperson Manish Tewari said: “We decided to go it alone to rebuild our party in Bihar. It was a difficult decision.” He told journalists that the party accepted the people's verdict.

Recalling the outcome of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2007, Mr. Tewari said the Congress did not fare well when it decided to go it alone. “But in the 2009 general elections in the State, there was an exceptional recovery and the party did reasonably well. The path of going it alone is difficult.”