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'Congress not an effective alternative anymore': Sibal on Bihar poll debacle

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New Delhi, Nov 16: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has expressed diappointment over party's poor showing in the recent Bihar Assembly elections and bypolls and said the people no longer saw the party as an "effective alternative".

Highliting the party's internal crisis, Sibal said the time for "introspection" was over by now.

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"We know what is wrong with the Congress. Organisationally, we know what is wrong. I think we have all the answers. The Congress party itself knows all the answers. But they are not willing to recognise those answers. If they do not recognise those answers, then the graph will continue to decline. That is the sorry state of affairs that the Congress is in and that is what we are concerned about," he told the Indian Express.

It may be recalled that Sibal was among the 23 party leaders who have written to Sonia Gandhi seeking a "full-time" leadership that is active in the field and "visible" in party offices, dissolution of powers to state units and revamping the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in line with the party constitution, among other changes.

Senior Congress leader Tariq Anwar had said on Sunday that the delay in finalising seat sharing for the Bihar election adversely impacted the Mahagathbandhan's poll performance, asserting that the Congress must learn from it and complete alliance formalities well in advance for upcoming assembly polls.

Anwar, party's general secretary and a veteran leader from Bihar, had said there were shortcomings due to which the Congress performed worse than other 'Mahagathbandhan' constituents and asserted that the high command was serious about an introspection as well as a thorough analysis of the results.

RJD's Tejashwi Yadav-led Mahagathbandhan won 110 seats, 12 less than the magic figure of 122 in the 243-member Bihar Assembly. The NDA won 125 seats.

The RJD finished as the single-largest party with 75 seats, while the Congress won a mere 19 seats. Of the 29 seats the Left parties had contested, they won in 16, with the CPI (ML-Liberation) winning 12 of them.

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