Having put up a dismal show in the Bihar polls, Congress on Wednesday said it was a "tough time" for party politics in the state and that it will analyse why huge crowds in rallies of its top leaders could not translate into votes.
The available trends suggest that Congress is all set to fare even worse than its last election's performance in which it had got 9 seats in the state despite a whirlwind tour of All India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
AICC general secretary in-charge for Bihar Mukul Wasnik said he takes full responsibility for the results in the state but refused to accept that Gandhi's "magic" failed to work.
"The time which Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi gave for Bihar had benefited us greatly. It enthused our party workers. None of their rallies had less crowds. But as far as election results are concerned, they are a different issue. We will have to find out the reason as why we could not translate the huge crowds that came in rallies addressed by our party leaders into votes," Wasnik told mediapersons in New Delhi.
He said, "It is tough time for Congress politics in Bihar."
The Union minister refused to accept that it was a wrong decision to go alone in Bihar by dumping old ally Lalu Prasad's RJD and said "it was a conscious decision".
"It was a new beginning and now the results have come. Nobody was thinking that we would make way easily. I don't believe that we committed a mistake by going alone. We wanted to create our own space in Bihar.... the path may be longer. It was a conscious decision," he said to a volley of questions.
He said "organisation is a continuity" and added that he does not believe that "someone becoming in-charge at some point of time" could be a reason for the party's defeat.
Wasnik, at the same time, said, "Being in-charge of the state, I take full responsibility for the results".
Asked about wrong ticket distribution and play of money into the exercise, he said, "Nothing in particular has come to my knowledge". He maintained that the party will definitely go into all the issues once the final results are out.
Earlier, party spokesperson Jayanthi Natrarajn said, "We did not do as well as we had expected" but maintained, "We will keep strategist and working to strengthen the party till we get whatever space we have lost there".
He said a call had to be taken whether the party would like to secure its own identity or be continuing as a junior partner to any party and Congress decided for the former.
Acknowledging that there is difference between UP and Bihar, Natarajan expressed confidence that "next time, we will improve our tally".
She also gave credit for the victory to Nitish Kumar. "All credit to him (Kumar) for his success...law and order did improve under Nitish Kumar," Natarajan said.
Union Home Minister P C Chidambaram said that the development argument has prevailed in the state. "If development argument has prevailed in Bihar, we should all be happy. We congratulate Nitish Kumar as well as the two parties - the JD-U and BJP - for their extremely good showing," Chidambaram told reporters outside Parliament.
Wishing the ruling combine well, Chidambaram said, "We wish them the best in running a progressive and forward looking government (in Bihar)." However, he did not comment on the poor showing of the Congress in Bihar.
For latest Bihar results, sms POLL to 57333