PM Modi says in reply to Rahul Gandhi

Saturday's assembly election results from five states have shown that the Congress needs strong regional leaders to take centre stage if the party wishes to ensure its survival in the national political space. Akhilesh Yadav instead of being confident truned to Rahul Gandhi with the aim of consolidating muslims votes which would have otherwise divided. The forging of the alliance proved to be the undoing of the Congress whose leaders had a tough time explaining what happened to its "27 saal, UP behaal" slogan. "As long as the regional and state leaders are not promoted, or at the least allowed to work on their own, the party's situation will remain unchanged", a senior Congress leader said, requesting anonymity. The BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah is set to take power in the Hindi-heartland. There were murmurs in the Samajwadi camp over the seat sharing arrangement and this could have possibly led to some party members working against the leaders.

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Joining Hands with Rahul Gandhi: Congress has lost nearly every, barring few, elections after 2014. We are only looking at party managers who are patronisers. Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha said, "It is a monumental setback". I thank everyone in Punjab for their vast faith and support.

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On party's poor performance in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkahnd, Rahul Gandhi wrote, "To all Congress workers across India: We stand resolute and committed to our values and our belief in an India united in strength and objective".

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Party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Congress will introspect on the reasons for the loss in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and will re-dedicate itself to strengthening the party and being the watchdog of people. He campaigned extensively in Uttar Pradesh but the issues he raised including demonetisation and his efforts at portraying Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "pro-rich" did not find resonance with the people.