LUCKNOW: With the Congress nowhere near power in Uttar Pradesh, the party sprung to its chief campaigner Rahul Gandhi's defence Tuesday with state party chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi saying the onus for defeat lay with the state unit.
"Avishvas Rahul par nahin hai (This distrust is not towards Rahul)," Joshi told reporters as the votes were counted for the staggered elections.
In trends available, the Samajwadi party (SP) was leading in 191 seats, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 97 and the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at 50 each.
Joshi said she was "hugely disappointed" with the results.
"Why should a campaigner accept responsibility? It's the candidate and the organisaton that is responsible. Our campaigner did his job brilliantly," she said.
"There are several factors - the state unit has to take the responsibility.
"The onus is on the candidate, the committee that selected the candidate. We have to all take a collective responsibility. National leadership cannot be held responsible."
She said the organisation had been unable to convert the "wonderful atmosphere" generated by Rahul Gandhi into votes.