UP biggest failure, admits 'loyal Cong sepoy' Digvijay
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Tuesday owned "full responsibility" for the party's flop show in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections but skirted questions about resigning from the post over the issue.
"This matter is between me and Congress president Sonia Gandhi," was his brief response when asked whether he had offered to resign from the post of All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh after party's dismal performance in UP elections.
"I am extremely hurt, disappointed and feel guilty...I am a loyal sepoy of Congress. I take full responsibility for whatever has happened," Singh told mediapersons after meeting the Congress president in New Delhi.
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Image: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh
'We failed to convince voters we could defeat BSP'
He also sought to insulate Rahul Gandhi from the issue of responsibility, saying the party could not convert the wave generated by Gandhi's election campaign into votes due to "poor leadership in the state".
Asked why Congress had finished fourth in UP despite a high octane campaign by Rahul, he said, "We failed to convince the voters that we are in a position to defeat Bahuajn Samaj Party...We could not convince the people of UP that Congress can replace the corrupt BSP and form the government. This is our biggest failure."
The Congress leader said that there is a need for introspection on why such results came.
He at the same dismissed contentions that the focus on Muslim reservation could have damaged the party's prospects. "If this was due to Muslim reservation, we only talked of 9 per cent reservation (to backward Muslims) while the Samajwadi Party talked of giving 18 per cent," he argued.
Image: Congress could not convert the wave generated by Rahul Gandhi in UP, says Digvijay Singh
'UP voters will vote for Cong in 2014'
Singh also rejected the argument that issues like this and raking up Batla House led to polarisation of votes saying Bharatiya Janata Party would have benefitted had any polarisation taken place.
"Both the national parties failed to convince people of the state and I consider the state leadership of both parties responsible for it," he said.
Singh also rejected contentions that the results of UP assembly elections will have a bearing on the next Lok Sabha elections and pointed out that the party had performed spectacularly in 2009 Lok Sabha elections despite not-so-good performance in the last assembly polls in the state.
"Issues are different. It was the same Congress but people expressed their belief in the Nehru-Gandhi family leadership 2009 Lok Sabha elections," he said.
Singh said he was absolutely sure that that UP voter will vote for Congress again in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
While there is a view in the party that giving too many tickets to outsiders cost the party dearly, Singh disagreed with the idea and stressed that a number of such candidates also won this time.
Image: Digvijay Singh with Rahul Gandhi during a campaign rally in UP