Veteran Gujarat Congress leader Arvind Sanghvi dies at 82

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Infighting in the state Congress units, mistakes in candidate selection and the choice of alliances were behind the Congress’ defeat in the recently-held Assembly elections in five states, according to a report by a panel constituted by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

The panel, whose members included former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan, Salman Khurshid, Manish Tewari, Vincent Pala and Jothi Mani, submitted its report to Sonia. The report said factionalism or infighting was present in all the states that went to polls, and it has caused the party dearly.

The panel has also made recommendations for the upcoming Assembly elections.

In Kerala, differences between groups led by Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala hurt the party’s prospects Fielding several new faces also did not help. The Left front government made a history by winning a second consecutive term.

In Assam, the panel blamed the party’s alliance with AIUDF as the main reason for defeat. Also, some party leaders blamed AICC in-charge Jitendra Singh for bypassing the state leadership in deciding on campaigning and alliance strategies.

The party leadership was also accused of ignoring issues faced by people in upper Assam. In West Bengal, the party leaders said the polarisation between the BJP and the TMC impacted the party’s fortunes. Some leaders also pointed at the role of state chief, alleging he acted without consultations.