Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday rejected the Left suggestion that its defeat in the Tripura Assembly elections was a referendum on the Centre’s economic policies, and asserted that it was due to “local factors.”

“We accept the people’s verdict in Tripura and Meghalaya [where the Congress emerged the largest party] in all humility. We will examine the factors that have led to our defeat in Tripura, just as we would like to reflect on our comparative success in Meghalaya,” said AICC spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan.

She said the defeat in Tripura was entirely confined to local factors and could not be extended by any logic as a referendum on the Centre’s economic policies.

Ms. Natararan was asked to comment on CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat’s statement that the election results showed that the people of Tripura had rejected the economic policies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.

The ruling Left Front returned to power in the State with a landslide.

On the India-U.S. nuclear deal, she said the effort was to “take along all our allies with us.” “The deal is important and in national interest.”