The Indian National Congress (INC), India's grand old political party, is in serious trouble after facing a rout in the recently held regional elections. In two of the five states that went to the polls, the party lost power in Kerala and Assam. In the other three states, it could not make any impression.
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The electoral debacle comes amidst high-profile corruption allegations and party infighting.
The party is now ruling only five states, four of them smaller ones. This means the Congress is in power for just 6% of the Indian population, prompting critics to mock that the party has been reduced to a "regional outfit".
The Congress has said it would look into what went wrong.
"We will introspect into reasons for our loss and will rededicate ourselves to the service of people with greater vigour. We accept the verdict of the people of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala with utmost humility," said Congress president Sonia Gandhi, according to the ANI news agency.
The party is facing challenging times ever since the parliamentary elections in 2014 which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi surging to power. Though there have been serious calls for a major overhaul in the functioning of the organisation, which primarily looks up to members of the Gandhi family for any decision-making, there has been hardly any progress.
"Today's results are disappointing but not unexpected. We have done enough Introspection shouldn't we go for a major surgery," said the party's senior leader Digvijaya Singh.
There was also speculation that Gandhi scion Rahul would be handed over the reins in the near future so as to boost the morale of the cadres. Though rumours have been doing the rounds about his takeover for the past few years, the de facto chief of the party is seen reluctant to take the top job officially.