Indian Congress party president Rahul Gandhi had lost his own parliament seat in Amethi, a family borough in a northern state, in the biggest upset of the election on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) handed a heavy defeat to the Congress and regional parties and Rahul Gandhi could not save his own seat in the constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh state.However, at a press conference in New Delhi, the 48-year-old Congress chief admitted his defeat in this Lok Sabha elections terming it people’s verdict and greeted BJP and Narendra Modi.
“People have given their decision. The malik (referring to people as lords) have given the order. I congratulate BJP and Narendra Modi-ji,” he said.
Gandhi said his opponent, cabinet minister Smriti Irani, had won the election in Amethi, which his family has held almost continuously for the last four decades.
"Smriti Irani (of the BJP) has won in Amethi and I congratulate her. The people of Amethi have given their mandate," Rahul Gandhi told the news conference.
Congress has held Amethi in Uttar Pradesh state since 1967 except for one three-year stint in 1977-80 and a separate one-year period in 1998-99.
Rahul Gandhi won the seat in 2004, 2009 and 2014 and the constituency is considered one of the two Nehru-Gandhi family bastions.The heavy losses suffered by the Congress to Modi put paid to Gandhi's hopes of becoming the fourth member of his famous dynasty to lead the world's biggest democracy.
Votes counted so far indicated that the party won just 50 seats against 301 for the BJP, which secured an even bigger majority than at the last election in 2014.
"I can't comment on the results today. I want to say that our fight is a fight for ideology. I want to tell our leaders, who won and lost, don't worry, don't lose confidence. We will fight together for our ideology," Gandhi told the news conference.
"It doesn't matter what I think went wrong. Frankly people of India have decided that Modi should be the prime minister, as an Indian person I accept it," he said.
However, Congress president Rahul Gandhi congratulated PM Modi and the BJP asking rival and BJP leader Smrithi Irani to "nurture with love" the constituency that has been the stronghold of the Gandhis.
Meanwhile, a number of world leaders, including China's Xi Jinping, Pakistan's Imran Khan and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, congratulated PM Modi.
Television channel CNN News18 said Gandhi, however, had won from a constituency in southern India, the second place he chose to run from in the election.
This is for the first time in a Lok Sabha election results that results of voting machines will be matched with VVPATs or slips generated by paper trail machines.
Source: NDTV, Business Standard, AFP