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India polls: Gandhis accept 'responsibility' for Congress defeat

Published on May 16, 2014 7:18 PM
In this photograph taken on August 7, 2012 in New Delhi, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi (3L) is seen with her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi (2L) and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - The leaders of India's defeated Congress party, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, admitted personal responsibility on Friday for the disastrous election results which came after 10 years in power.

"We understand that victory and loss is part of democracy," party president Sonia told reporters in New Delhi as preliminary figures showed the Congress heading for its worst ever performance.

"We respect this decision. I take responsibility for this defeat," she added, in remarks echoed by her 43-year-old son, who led national campaigning for the first time.

The leftist Congress has dominated Indian politics since independence, mostly with a member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty at its head. The famous bloodline has provided three prime ministers.

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