A day after its drubbing in the Gujarat assembly elections, the Congress on Friday blamed the state leadership for the poor showing and said it is time to introspect as well as take "tough decisions".
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also accused the Aam Aadmi Party and the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen of colluding with the Bharatiya Janta Party, saying they were "informal alliance partners" of the ruling party.
He, however, said in Himachal Pradesh the Congress put up a good show despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's high decibel campaign.
"For us, the Gujarat results show the need for introspection and for taking tough decisions. In Gujarat the election results have been very disappointing and are far below our expectations. It is a very sad reflection on the state's organisation," he told reporters.
Asked who were responsible for the poor performance of Congress in Gujarat, Ramesh said the local leadership and admitted there were shortcomings in the party's campaign there.
"There have been shortcomings in Gujarat unit and we will have to work on them. In the next election, our vote share would come back to 40 per cent," the Congress leader claimed.
"The BJP has lost miserably in Himachal Pradesh, given the fact that the prime minister campaigned extensively besides BJP president JP Nadda and Union minister Anurag Thakur, both of who hail from Himachal, the BJP has still lost," Ramesh alleged.
He also blamed the AAP and the AIMIM for the poor performance of Congress, saying both the parties were BJP's "informal alliance partners" in Gujarat.
"(AIMIM chief Asaduddin) Owaisi's role in our politics has became amply clear. Both the AAP and AIMIM have been getting the active support of the BJP and they have cut into the Congress vote bank," he said.
Ramesh also said that an atmosphere of fear was created in Gujarat to ensure that many sections of society who supported the Congress do not come out and vote.
"In Himachal, we have won even though our vote share is less," he said, adding that winning 40 seats out of 68 is a big thing to achieve against a formidable BJP.
He credited the Congress' promise to restore the old pension scheme as one of the primary reasons for the party's success in Himachal. He said the party leadership was committed to implement it at the earliest.