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Sonia, Congress leaders discuss Gujarat defeat
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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Gujarat Elections 2007
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December 24, 2007 18:54 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images], who was the party's star campaigner in the Gujarat elections, presided over a meeting of senior leaders of the party on Monday to pinpoint the reasons for the party's defeat at the hands of Narendra Modi [Images] and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the recently concluded state assembly elections.

Amongst those who attended the meeting included party general secretary in charge of Gujarat Ahmed Patel, Pranab Mukherjee, Arjun Singh [Images], A K Anthony, Digvijay Singh and other senior leaders who took part in the Gujarat assembly elections.

There was no indication on behalf of the Congress party if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and general secretary Rahul Gandhi [Images] would also be attending the meeting.

Talking to newsmen Veerappa Moily, media incharge, dismissed the charge that if Sonia had not called Modi as 'maut ke saudagar', things could have been different.

"Then Modi would have invented something else. He was the one who started off with death for Afzal. He had hired an agency to run his campaign," he charged.

Moily denied that it was a mistake on the part of the Congress party not to have named a local leader who could take on Modi.

"It is not the tradition of the Congress party to name someone as chief minister. There may have been cases when the party did so," Moily said.

When asked who would be the party's candidate he clarified that at the moment there was no vacancy, and Dr Singh was discharging his duties.

Talking about Sonia not sending a congratulatry message to Modi though Dr Singh had done the same, Moily said that the party decided against sending the message as Modi could have turned down the greeting and "we do not want our leader to be slighted," he said.

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