Congress worried over rejection in urban areas

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Congress
New Delhi, Apr 18: Despite its projection that the loss in municipal elections in Delhi and Mumbai was due to local factors, Congress appears concerned over the growing rejection of the party in urban areas.

At the AICC briefing today, the party struggled to pinpoint the reasons for the defeat in Delhi, where Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is at the helm for 14 years, swinging between the "global" issue of price rise and local factors like sanitation and drinking water.

"Price rise is undoubtedly a reality.... Spiralling prices definitely affect the common man.... We do not rule it out. Government has been taking steps to check it. Moreover, this is not a problem affecting only our country but a global phenomenon after the economic recession," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.

Alvi was asked whether the party lost Delhi municipal elections due to rising prices, a reason in the city by party MP Sandeep Dikshit, son of the Delhi Chief Minister.

Alvi at the same time maintained "municipal elections are after all limited to municipal issues. It's always the issues like sanitation and drinking water that dominate such polls," when specifically asked whether price spiral led to Congress defeat in municipal polls.

The Congress spokesperson also sought to remind that his party had won the last Assembly and Lok Sabha elections even after losing in the previous Municipal polls. Alvi, however, evaded a question on fixing responsibility for the defeat saying "party's internal matter are not discussed with media".

A party leader speaking on the condition of anonymity, however, admitted that there is "problem" as the party is increasingly performing poor in urban areas of which the municipal results in Delhi and Maharashtra are indicators.

PTI

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