Gujarat election result | ‘Our alternative style didn’t work, AAP offered novel, new idea’, says Congress leader Salman Khurshid

Speaking on the Gujarat Assembly elections, in which the Congress won just 17 seats, Salman Khurshid said the party was in difficulty even before the polls

December 12, 2022 05:12 pm | Updated 06:07 pm IST - Bengaluru

Senior Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. File

Senior Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. File | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said on Monday his party's "alternative style and method" didn't work in the Assembly polls in Gujarat, where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) offered "novel and new idea" and hurt the M. Mallikarjun Kharge-led outfit's electoral prospects.

The former Union Minister said the Assembly election results in Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress edged the BJP out of power, has given the party a new sense of purpose.

"And I hope that we will make this into a model State (Himachal Pradesh)", Mr. Khurshid told PTI.

The Congress won just 17 seats in Gujarat, while bagging 40 seats in the 68-member Himachal House.

Speaking on the Gujarat Assembly elections, he said the party was in difficulty even before the polls.

"Lot of our Gujarat politics was based on what happened before the last election...Patidar movement and so on...we considerably shifted our base to try and capture something that we haven't had in the past but unfortunately it wasn't sustainable, it didn't stay put and they drifted again from us. In a sense, our medium term and long term planning was a little bit in disarray because of that. We tried to put together an alternative style, alternative method, but sadly it didn't work," he said.

"Same lessons, we keep saying the same thing, we will reflect, we will do..," Mr. Khurshid quipped when asked about the lessons that the Congress need to learn from the poll outcome in Gujarat, and stressed the need for party leaders to have a real "connect" with workers of the outfit.

"We all know what needs to be done, everybody knows what needs to be done, the workers must now cooperate with the leadership to achieve what needs to be done, connectivity is the basic issue, real or virtual connectivity is the order of the day, we want real connectivity and we will try get that real connectivity as quickly as possible," he said.

In Gujarat, the presence of AAP in the fray made a difference for the Congress, according to him.

"If you just look at the arithmetic of how much we lost and how much they gained, they clearly offered a novel, new idea and therefore one who was a little bit vulnerable (the Congress) has been hurt. Aam Aadmi Party tries to get our votes wherever it can; you can see a pattern of where they participate, which State they participate. Wherever the BJP is a major dominant party with the absence of Congress, the AAP does not go. So, that tells its own story, doesn't it? But we don't want to preoccupy ourselves with AAP, let's look at our own shortcomings and address them. We don't care about AAP," Mr. Khurshid said.

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