Cong goes into huddle as polls end

Cong goes into huddle as polls end

Cong goes into huddle as polls end

The Congress top brass went into a huddle soon after the longest Lok Sabha elections in recent times concluded and the exit polls predicted that the NDA would form the next government at the Centre.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi drove to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official residence where Defence Minister A K Antony, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and political secretary to Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, were present for a meeting of the core group.

The topic of discussion remained the outcome of the general elections and the future road map of the Congress. Gandhi also thanked the Prime Minister for heading two successive UPA governments and gave him her best wishes for the future. Singh had announced his retirement plans in January by declining a third term if the Congress was voted back to power.

With the exit polls by several television channels predicting a rout, the Congress immediately shielded vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who led the election campaign, contending that any victory or loss would be the collective responsibility of the party.

“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,” AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed told reporters here.

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