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Very, very disappointed with the results: Sonia

December 08, 2013 18:26 IST

Accepting the people's verdict with "humility", the top leadership of the Congress on Sunday pledged to transform the party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls for which it would announce its prime ministerial candidate "at the opportune time".

Stating that the party was "very, very disappointed" over the assembly results in four states, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said there was a need to do "deep introspection".

Gandhi and her son, vice president Rahul Gandhi, met journalists at the Congress headquarters in Delhi to acknowledge the victory of the opponents.

"Obviously people are unhappy. Otherwise they would not have given the results that they gave," she said.

Briefly analysing the causes for the defeat, Gandhi said there were a number of reasons, which included price rise and different issues.

Gandhi expressed confidence that the results of assembly polls will not have a bearing on the next Lok Sabha polls.

"General elections are quite different. People in state elections do focus on personality at the state level, at leaders who are likely to lead them," she said.

However, in national elections, "people look at the person who is likely to guide them and govern them at the national level," the Congress chief said.

Asked whether the Congress party would name its prime ministerial candidate against BJP's Narendra Modi, Gandhi said, "People need not worry as, at an opportune time, the name of the prime ministerial candidate" will be announced.

Initially she appeared reluctant to give an answer when asked whether Rahul would be named as the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress.

"We will make a statement. The party has to decide. The party will decide at the opportune time," she said.

Rahul said through the elections, "people have given us a message, which we have heard."

The Congress party has to transform itself to stand up, he said.

"We have to move to a new paradigm and give serious space to the common masses," Rahul said.

Asked about the spectacular performance of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, he said both the major parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, had thought about politics in a traditional way.

"I think we need to consider thinking in terms of empowering the people which I have been saying within the party. I am going to make this a central issue," he said.

Admitting that he would learn from the success of the AAP, Rahul said the new party involved a lot of people, which traditional parties do not do.

"We are going to involve them (people) in a way you can't imagine," he said.

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