After the drubbing in Uttar Pradesh, Congress today discussed with its candidates the reasons behind the loss in the just-concluded Assembly elections. Most of those who attended the meeting were of the view that the party must raise issues directly related to the common man and farmers and "continue its struggle on the ground in view of the changed scenario in the state", the party said in a statement. The statement on the meeting, which came a day after state unit chief Raj Babbar defended party vice president Rahul Gandhi over the electoral rout in UP, did not make any reference to the leadership issue. "A review meeting of the Congress candidates, who had lost the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, was held today at the UPCC headquarters. "The meeting was convened by UPCC chief Raj Babbar, and was attended by Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Sinh and PL Punia among others," the party release said. UPCC spokesperson Virendra Madan, said, "In the meeting, the candidates (who had lost the elections) put their points before the UPCC chief.
Some of the candidates also sought a separate meeting with Raj Babbar to put their views." Yesterday, Babbar, who had offered to resign after the defeat, had said Rahul was not responsible for UP result and the party had won three of the five state elections under his leadership. The Congerss, which had joined hands with the Samajwadi Party, won just seven of the 100 seats it contested in the 403-member UP Assembly. "Congress has won three of the five states where elections were held and this goes on to prove that Rahul Gandhi was successful in his mission," Babbar had said at an event, where seven newly-elected party MLAs were felicitated. Babbar, however, took responsibility for the poor showing, saying, "As president of the state party unit, I take all the responsibility for the defeat." He reiterated the party's stand that in Goa and Manipur, the Congress had lost to money and muscle power of the BJP, even after winning the polls.