Former PM Manmohan Singh explains why Congress lost Gujarat elections
New Delhi, Dec 23: Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress continue to do "post-mortem" of the Gujarat Assembly elections, the results of which were declared on Monday.
While the BJP won the elections in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with 99 seats, the Congress bagged 77 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Legislative Assembly.
A day before Congress president Rahul Gandhi's visit to Gujarat to review election results on Saturday, on Friday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the grand old party lost the elections to the BJP because it failed to connect with the urban voters.
Singh made the remark during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting chaired by Rahul for the first time as the party president. In fact, the former PM also campaigned in Gujarat alongside Rahul where he spoke against demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
While explaining the defeat of the Congress in Gujarat due to failure to garner urban votes, Singh gave the example of 2009 Lok Sabha elections when the Congress was able to do well in urban areas.
He added that the party needs to introspect why it has failed to win the confidence of upwardly mobile urban voters. Singh asked his party colleagues to come up with a strategy to build base with urban population across the country.
In fact, during the 2009 parliamentary elections, the Congress won 34 of the 57 parliamentary seats in big metros. The grand old party also won a majority of the 144 Lok Sabha seats in the country's smaller cities and towns.
In the recently concluded Gujarat polls, the BJP won 36 of the 42 urban seats and the Congress achieved victory only in six seats.
Before meeting Congress leaders in Gujarat, Rahul on Saturday offered his prayers at the Somnath temple in Gir Somnath district, some 420 km from the state capital Gandhinagar.
The Congress conducted a three-day long conclave to analyse the election elections results. The conclave will end on Saturday.