Amidst murmurs among Congressmen that Priyanka should take up leadership role after the Lok Sabha debacle followed by Sunday's dismal performance in Maharashtra and Haryana, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala insisted that Priyanka Gandhi has confined herself to Raebareli and Amethi Lok Sabha constituencies.
    
"Crores of Congress workers have reposed their collective faith in Rahul Gandhi. Some individuals may have some doubt. As far as Congressmen are concerned, they have no doubt about his ability.

"They see the future of Congress in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. I think we should honour the feeling of crores of workers," he said.
    
The chrous for bringing Priyanka in the forefront was made on Sunday when about 200 Congress workers demonstrated outside the AICC over the issue.
    
Surjewala, however, said, "This question has been asked by all you many times and also answered from this podium. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has on her own limited her political role to Raebareli and Amethi. We should respect that decision."
    
At the same time, he said that the  Congress will go for "course correction" and build "new leadership" to arrest its sliding vote base in a number of states.
    
Senior Congress leaders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the party has no future without Gandhi family leading it and there was no question of dumping Rahul.
    
The choice of Rahul is a decision taken by all the members of the Gandhi family and attempts to create a Rahul versus Priyanka tussle is being made by some in the party to secure their turf.

Much before the results were out on Sunday, a well-planned strategy was put in place to insulate Rahul Gandhi and dismiss views that he be held accountable for the defeat.
    
"To segregate and assign responsibility in this way is neither practical nor possible," Surjewala said denouncing any criticism of Rahul Gandhi for the results.
    
He also reminded that Congress was in power in just four states but got the mandate in the whole nation five years later.
    
"Victory and defeat keep coming when you are in politics," he said adding that if victories and defeats should be dissected, it will be seen that the party has bettered its performance in both the states from what it was in the Lok Sabha polls.
    
"We ruled Maharashtra for 15 years in a row, which is something uncommon while we were in power in Haryana for ten years. We were continuously in power in these states, while BJP came and went out power in some states," he said.
    
Replying to questions about the strategy ahead for Congress, Surjewala said,"we will introspect. We will do the course correction. We will build new leadership where it is required."
    
To questions about reshuffle in the AICC, he said that a meeting of the party's apex decision making body Congress Working Committee had, after Lok Sabha poll results, authorised Sonia Gandhi to do it.
    
A party leader said,"when you are faced with such a scenario, change is natural. The party leadership cannot be oblivious to the realities in states."
    
There is a view in the party that the traditional vote base of the party among OBCs and Dalits in Haryana shifted en bloc to the BJP this time while it could not get a bigger pie of jat votes, which went substantially to INLD.
    
Similarly the North Indian votes in Maharashtra went to the BJP more so after it parted ways from Shiv Sena while there were multiple claimants of Maratha votes.

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