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Blame game in Congress over Delhi result, Sonia intervenes

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Blame game in Congress over Delhi result, Sonia intervenes
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New Delhi: A blame game broke out in the Congress Thursday over its washout in the Delhi assembly polls with former chief minister Sheila Dikshit blaming party campaign chief Ajay Maken. Party president Sonia Gandhi intervened to ask senior party leaders to observe restraint.

Dikshit, who led the Congress to three successive poll victories in the capital but lost the 2013 polls, said that Maken was responsible for the party failing to win even a single seat in the 70-member assembly.

"Maken was the Delhi campaign committee chairman. As such, he was responsible (for the loss in Delhi)," the three-time former chief minister said in an interview to news channel Times Now.

The Aam Admi Party scored a landslide win, bagging 67 seats, reducing Bharatiya Janata Party to three seats and wiping out the Congress.

Party's Delhi in charge P.C. Chacko signalled unhappiness over Dikshit's remarks.

He said Dikshit's views were "personal" and Maken "did his best for this (Delhi) election".

"If anybody saying anything otherwise, that is very unfair. The party doesn't endorse that view," he said.

"At a time when the party is already in crisis...party leaders should do soul searching instead of blaming each other and work for the revival of the party," he added.

Chacko, who later met Gandhi to brief her about the results, said she had told party leaders to be restrained in their comments and termed the internal tussle as unfortunate.

"She said that senior leaders should keep restraint," he said.

Chacko and state unit chief Arvinder Singh Lovely had met party vice president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday and talked about Delhi results.

In her interview, Dikshit also held the party's campaign was not "vociferous" in publicizing the development work the Congress had done for national capital, adding that the message did not got out "effectively" enough.

Asked if the leadership of Rahul Gandhi ought be reconsidered in view of the sixth election that the party has lost under his watch, she said he couldn't be held responsible for losses in assembly elections.

"The elections in Delhi were a state election. So how can you blame Rahul Gandhi? He is not directly responsible. It's the local leaders in the state, the presidents of the state Congress committee units are entrusted with the work of carrying on the election in the state," she said.

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