The Congress will have to introspect about the shortcomings that led to the party failing to retain the government in Rajasthan, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot said on Monday.
He added that it is matter of concern that despite making every effort, the Congress could not break Rajasthan's tradition of voting out the party in power every five years. Party leaders will discuss the reasons for its failure and its future strategy in the Congress Legislature Party meeting on Tuesday.
The BJP wrested Rajasthan from the Congress, winning 115 of the 199 seats where polling took place as the grand old party -- which won 69 seats -- failed to buck the state's three-decade revolving-door trend in which the voters reject the ruling party.
"It is matter of concern that despite making every effort and hard work, the Congress could not break the tradition. Everyone will have to introspect about the shortcomings and the reasons due to which the Congress could not retain the government," Pilot told reporters in Tonk.
He added everyone wanted that a Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan as it would have strengthened the party.
Retaining the government in Rajasthan was the Congress' target but it could not happen due to various reasons. However, the party's vote percentage in all three states has not decreased, Pilot said.
"The Lok Sabha elections will be held in the next five months. It is a big challenge. We need to honestly introspect and we will do it. The people have given us the role of opposition and we will play it strongly. We will force the government to fulfil the promises and become the voice of the people," he said.
Replying to a question on the statement of Ashok Gehlot's OSD Lokesh Sharma, Pilot said, "I have seen the statement. It is strange. Because he was OSD to the chief minister, that's why it is a matter of concern. I believe the party will look into why he said so. And how much truth it holds." Sharma on Sunday blamed Gehlot for the defeat in the assembly polls and said that his experience, magic and schemes could not bring the Congress back to power.
Sharma, who was denied a ticket to contest the polls, said Gehlot once again brought the Congress to the margins and has only taken away from the party but never been able to bring it back to power.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.