Having burnt the fingers in the Uttar Pradesh elections due to over dependence on central leaders and a weak state organizational set up, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has told party men in Karnataka in clear terms that "assembly elections are not won from national capital".
Flagging the urgency for the party to pull up its socks in the state, she said,"we have just about a year to go for the next assembly elections...we have no time to waste".
Sending a clear message to the state unit that it will have to get its act together and work hard to win, Gandhi said, "I do want to reiterate that Assembly elections are not won in New Delhi. They are won here on the ground by party men and women throughout the state working hard together as a team at all levels."
Making it clear that individual ambitions must not come before the larger interests of the party, Gandhi said, "Our overriding objective must be to bring party back to power."
"I know there is goodwill for us amongst the people. We have to convert this goodwill into electoral success -- and only we can ensure it by working tirelessly down to booth level."
The party has earlier officially put the blame for Congress debacle in Uttar Pradesh on organizational weakness while leaders speaking on the condition of anonymity have also been maintaining individual tussles among leaders also cost it in many constituencies in the state where Rahul Gandhi led the campaign from the front.
Addressing the Congress delegates meeting in Tumkur, Gandhi said," the people of Karnataka have reposed their faith in the Congress time and again. Unfortunately for many reasons, including our own weaknesses, we did not receive their mandate in 2004 and 2008."
Gandhi asked the party men to highlight how the policies of UPA government has benefited Karnataka. "We must communicate clearly our priorities, policies and programmes," she said.