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Himachal reversal stuns Sonia into silence

Source: PTI
December 28, 2007 16:31 IST
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With the defeat in Himachal Pradesh adding to the party's woes after the Gujarat debacle, Congress president Sonia Gandhi was on Friday silent on what caused the electoral setback.

The defeat came on the 123rd Foundation Day of the Congress, when Gandhi was unfurling the party tricolour at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi to mark the occasion.

Gandhi left the premises after reading out the resolution passed by the Congress Working Committee to condole the death of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto without any answer to a volley of questions from the media on the election results.

Despite it being the Foundation Day of the party, its spirits appeared to be low following the developments in Himachal coming on the back of the stunning defeat in Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat.

The mood at the AICC headquarters was sombre and far from celebratory despite the occasion of the Foundation Day of the oldest political party.

At a brief, low-profile function devoid of any speeches, Gandhi hoisted the party tricolour and then immediately afterwards went into a CWC meeting along with senior leaders.

After the 15-minute CWC meeting, most of the leaders refused to talk to the waiting media.

Senior party leader Anand Sharma said it would be a mistake to link the Congress defeat in Himachal Pradesh with the Gujarat election results, contending there was no communal polarisation in the hill state.

"In a democracy, changes do take place and we have to humbly accept the verdict of the people," he told reporters.

Refusing to link Narendra Modi's victory in Gujarat with the Himachal results, Sharma said there was no communal polarisation in the hill state which was witnessed in the western state.

"It is a mistake to link the Gujarat results with Himachal," he said.
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