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India polls: Gandhis face demoralised party after rout

Published on May 19, 2014 3:14 PM
 
Indian National Congress (INC) president Sonia Gandhi (left) and vice-president Rahul Gandhi address the media after the India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) set to sweep the Indian elections in New Delhi, India on May 16, 2014. India's ruling Congress party is set to gather Monday, May 19, 2014, in New Delhi to rake over their electoral humiliation, with leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi facing unprecedented pressure over their failed campaign tactics. -- FILE PHOTO: EPA

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's ruling Congress party is set to gather Monday in New Delhi to rake over their electoral humiliation, with leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi facing unprecedented pressure over their failed campaign tactics.

Congress slumped to its worst-ever defeat last week, claiming just 44 seats in the 543-member parliament, as the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power with the first majority in 30 years.

The Indian media swirled with rumours on Monday that the Gandhis, South Asia's famed political dynasty, would offer to step down - but their resignation would almost certainly be rejected by colleagues.

Sonia, the 67-year-old Congress party president, entrusted campaigning to her son and vice president Rahul, whose lacklustre performance failed to convince voters as Congress sought a third term in power.

 
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