NEW DELHI: Congress on Tuesday rebuffed criticism of Rahul Gandhi for the electoral debacle in Maharashtra and Haryana, saying its partymen's hopes and aspiration are tied up with the Gandhi family. "Crores of Congress workers have reposed their collective faith in Rahul Gandhi. Some individuals may have some doubt. As far as Congressmen are concerned, they have no doubt about his ability," said party spokesman Randeep Surjewala.
He added, "They see the future of Congress in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. I think we should honour the feeling of crores of workers."
The party rejected the demand for giving a bigger role to Priyanka Gandhi, saying she herself chose to limit her political activity to Amethi and Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha constituencies represented by her brother Rahul and mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi respectively.
The party downplayed the electoral defeat it suffered in assembly elections in two states, saying such developments are part of the democratic process. "Winning and losing is part of democracy. Our party has always maintained that we should neither go overboard in victory nor despair on a defeat," said Surjewala.
He said the Congress put up a good fight in Haryana, despite the BJP replacing it at the helm. "We fought a good election in Haryana. In that state no party had been voted to power consecutively for two terms, but we were successful in getting two consecutive mandates," he said.
Surjewala said the Congress will "introspect" on the poll outcome and reach out to "newer sections" wherever that was paramount or necessary.