Sonia Gandhi accepts defeat with humility

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SummarySonia Gandhi said there was a need to do "deep introspection".

Accepting the people's verdict with "humility", top leadership of the Congress today pledged to transform the party ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls for which it would announce its Prime Ministerial candidate "at the opportune time".

Stating that the party was "very very disappointed" over the assembly results in four states, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said there was a need to do "deep introspection".

Gandhi and her son Rahul, party Vice President, met journalists at the Congress headquarters here to acknowledge the victory of "our opponents" whom she congratulated.

"Obviously people are unhappy. Otherwise they would not have given the results that they gave," she said.

Briefly analysing the causes for the defeat, Gandhi said there were a number of reasons, which included price rise and different issues.

Gandhi expressed confidence that the results of assembly polls will not have a bearing on the next Lok Sabha polls.

"General elections are quite different. People in state elections do focus on personality at the state level, at leaders who are likely to lead them," she said.

However, in national elections "people look at the person who is likely to guide them and govern them at the national level", the Congress chief said.

Asked whether the Congress party would name its Prime Ministerial candidate against BJP's Narendra Modi, Gandhi said, "people need not worry as, at an opportune time, the name of the Prime Ministerial candidate" will be announced.

Initially she appeared reluctant to give an answer when asked whether Rahul would be named as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

"We will make a statement. The party has to decide. The party will decide at the opportune time," she said.

Rahul said through the elections, "people have given us a message, which we have heard."

The Congress party has to transform itself to stand up, he said. "We have to move to a new paradigm and give serious space to the common masses."

Asked about the spectacular performance of Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, he said both the major parties, Congress and BJP, had thought about politics in a traditional way.

"I think, we need to consider thinking in terms of empowering the people which I have been saying within the party. I am going to make this a central issue," he said.

Maintaining that he would learn from the success of AAP, Rahul said the new party involved lot of people which traditional parties do not do.

"We are going to involve them (people) in a way

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