Rahul cannot be singled out for Congress' poll debacle: Chandy

Rahul cannot be singled out for Congress' poll debacle: Chandy

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said that Rahul Gandhi cannot be singled out for the Congress' debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.

"It is not proper to single out any particular leader for the debacle. The party takes collective responsibility in victories as well as defeat. The outcome of the elections has already been evaluated by the party in that sense," Chandy said here, when his attention was drawn to voices against Rahul from certain quarters.

Reposing confidence in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, the Kerala Chief Minister, said, "I have no doubt that the Congress will make a comeback. The party should take the defeat positively and engage increasingly with the people without treating them as adversaries in the backdrop of the present setback. The present leadership is capable of restoring the party to its glory."

Chandy, who bucked the anti-Congress trend in Kerala, said, "The Congress lives in the hearts of the people. History tells us that the party has comeback from reversals. The classic instance was its revival after the defeat in 1977 under the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi."

The UDF led by Chandy lifted 12 of the 20 seats, which include 8 from the Congress. Side-by-side national issues, the performance of his government was also a key campaign theme in Kerala.

"What is important is that the defeat should be taken in a positive spirit. The party leaders and functionaries at all levels should work more closely with the people. They should go to the people and never look at the electorate as adversaries who handed out defeat to the party," Chandy, seen as a popular Congress Chief Minister, said.

"Being the most popular party with its presence in all over the country, Congress can revive itself quickly if the reasons for the defeat are ascertained and corrective measures taken, wherever they are necessary."

Chandy, who is entering the fourth year of his present term as Chief Minister, said the success of Narendra Modi-led Government would depend upon its ability to deliver the promises the NDA made during the campaign.

"Let us see, how the new government is performing. Now, the Government has announced a 10-point agenda for 100 days. Let us see how it is going to unfold," he said.

Chandy, known as a hard working Chief Minister, and always seen amidst people, said, "In a parliamentary democracy everything depends upon the performance of the Government."

He expressed confidence that he would be able to maintain a "cordial and constructive relationship" with Modi, whom he is meeting on Monday.

Asked about the main issues to be taken up with the Centre, he said, "Let us first see what their national priorities are. This will also be factored in prioritising our demands."

Chandy said one of the major constraint facing the state was the difficulties faced by thousands of families due to enforcement of Coastal Regulation Zone.

"Now, the situation is such that a person who wants to repair his house in coastal belt cannot do that. Kerala had submitted proposals for amendments in the rules before the previous government and this would be pursued with the new government," he said.

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