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Cong comes to Rahul's defence before poll results are out

New Delhi, May 12, 2014 PTI 19:40 IST
With exit polls predicting a dismal performance, Congress today sought to absolve Rahul Gandhi of any blame saying it would be a collective responsibility whatever may be the result of the Lok Sabha election. PTI
With exit polls predicting a dismal performance, Congress today sought to absolve Rahul Gandhi of any blame saying it would be a collective responsibility whatever may be the result of the Lok Sabha election.

"Rahul Gandhi is not in the government. He is the number two leader in the party. Sonia Gandhi is the president and naturally there is local leadership. So it is all collective," party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

He was asked whether Rahul, who led the party in the elections, or party chief Sonia Gandhi should be held responsible if the results are not up to the expectations of the party.

Seeking to dismiss exit and opinion polls, Ahmed said that they have been proved wrong in the 2004 and 2009 elections and the party would wait for the actual results on May 16.

With BJP saying that Congress should get used to sitting in the opposition, Ahmed retorted that BJP leaders including Narendra Modi had met RSS leaders two days back to find out whether he should become the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha or continue as Gujarat Chief Minister.

Ahmed's remarks came on a day when Congress' top brass including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi met this evening to deliberate on the strategy ahead.

Later Gandhi had a meeting with senior party leaders including party general secretaries to take stock of the situation after facing a difficult election.

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