At the Congress office, a different mood from previous losses

Congress party workers stage a protest outside the AICC Headquarters alleging EVMs were tampered to favour BJP in the Gujarat Assembly Polls, in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

At 1 pm, it was clear that BJP had retained Gujarat and wrested Himachal Pradesh from the Congress. But unlike previous election, the party headquarters did not look deserted.

Since 2014 Lok Sabha polls, except Punjab, the party has become used to losing assembly elections and often the party office would look empty with very few party leaders offering to explain what went wrong.

Except the wins in Punjab and Bihar when the Congress had delivered an impressive performance, victory celebrations are rare.

But Monday was different as the mood in the party headquarters swung from nervous excitement when the initial hour of counting showed the party leading to a sense of satisfaction that the party gave a scare to the BJP in Prime Minister Modi's home turf.

By noon, a small group of about 10 Congress supporters led by Jagdish Sharma parked themselves outside the entrance with placards against electronic voting machines (EVMs) and how they have helped the BJP.

Until then, the only senior party functionary who had blamed EVMs was Maharashtra Sanjay Nirupam

Though a few TV cameras did focus on them for a few minutes, the official spokespersons and panelists were giving out various statistics how their vote share and seats have gone up despite a high voltage campaign led by from Prime Minister Modi himself.

“In about 25 seats, the margins are between 500 and 2000-3000 votes. This shows that we can give a good fight and these seats could have been ours as well,”says Ajoy Kumar, chief of the Congress party in Jharkhand and a prominent spokesperson.

A senior leader, who didn't wish to be quoted, said the party's internal assessment was about 85 seats.

“In some ways, it gives confidence that we can do well even in BJP strongholds but the results won't make us complacent that a win would have made us,” said the leader.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 5:54:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/at-the-congress-office-a-different-mood-from-previous-losses/article21832009.ece

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