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Rahul concedes defeat, congratulates PM

May 24, 2019

Rahul Gandhi, president of the Congress party, congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi evening for his spectacular re-election. He asked him to "take care of the interests of the country".

Gandhi also conceded defeat in Amethi, asking political opponent and BJP leader Smriti Irani to "nurture with love" the constituency that has been with his family for 40 years. There are reports that he offered to resign as President of the Congress. The party is not likely to accept.

Gandhi has been elected to parliament from Wayanad in Kerala. This was the second constituency he had chosen and when he had filed from here, the BJP had accused him of running scared from Amethi.

Gandhi would not take questions from the press about the reasons for his party's massive defeat. ""Today is not the day for that," he said, claiming that attention must remain for now on PM Modi's victory and the clear choice of the people.

He congratulated PM Modi twice and said "janata maalik hai" (we report to the people). To his party workers, he said, fear not ("daro mat"). "We will win eventually," he said, and called the battle between the Congress and BJP a contest of ideologies.

Gandhi's leadership will be watched closely now. At the end of 2018, the Congress's hopes of displacing PM Modi rose after it won the key states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan from the BJP in state elections.

I accept the verdict of the people of India 🇮🇳Congratulations to the winners, Mr Modi & the NDA. Thank you to the people of Wayanad for electing me as your MP. Thank you also to the people of Amethi. Thank you Congress workers & leaders for your hard work in this campaign.- Rahul Gandhi, Congress party president

Sp, what went wrong for the Congress? One, the party fumbled communications on key policies. But the big mistake was its unwillingness to strike pre-election alliances in states like Uttar Pradesh. In many areas, the the party was seen as putting its own plans for comeback ahead of the need for a combined opposition attempt to block Mr Modi.

Gandhi is also being blamed for starting too late on TV interviews. His slogan "chowkidar chor hai", also backfired, feel many senior Congress leaders who spoke to the media, off the record.

His defeat in Amethi, a Congress stronghold, shows how far the Congress and Gandhi family's appeal has declined.

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