New Delhi, Dec 18: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted the acknowledgement of the first electoral defeats as president of his party. He thanked the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for the love he received while on the campaign trail.
Rahul had taken charge as Congress president on Saturday, two days after the second and final phase of polling Gujarat. He had been the face of his party’s campaign in the state.
“The Congress party accepts the verdict of the people and congratulates the new governments in both states. I thank the people of Gujarat and Himachal with all my heart for the love they showed me,” read the message on the Twitter handle operated by his office.
He also praised Congress cadre for fighting the election with ‘decency and courage’. “My Congress brothers and sisters, you have made me very proud. You are different than those you fought because you fought anger with dignity. You have demonstrated to everyone that the Congress’s greatest strength is its decency and courage,” read his message to his cadre.
Rahul Gandhi now needs to prepare his party for eight state assembly elections in 2018. He will face a tough task against the incumbent BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, while attempting to help his party retain power in Karnataka and looking to capitalise on anti-incumbency in Rajasthan. He will also lead his party to elections in four states in the Northeast – Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram and Nagaland.
The Congress managed to raise its seats and its vote share in Gujarat, even as it lost power in yet another state with its defeat in Himachal Pradesh. Rahul Gandhi’s task is now to revive his party from its worst ever performance in Lok Sabha elections. The party has 44 MPs in the Lok Sabha.