INTRODUCTION The Congress Party's Working Committee met in New Delhi on Tuesday (12 April) to review its losing performance at last month's general elections.
CU Tripathi PULL BACK TO MV of Congress Party meeting in New Delhi, India
SV Group of delegate/members seated PAN ALONG group
MV Tripathi and Chavan talk
MV Delegates seated talking (2 shots)
GV Meeting PAN photographers
EXTERIOR MV Mrs. Gandhi arrives with Tripathi (2 shots)
MV INT Mrs. Gandhi seated with Chavan
CU PULL BACK TO MV Mrs. Gandhi
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: After the meeting, Mr. Dev Kant Barooah, who had been president of the Congress Party since 1974, resigned. Resignations were expected to follow from another 18 senior members. Mr. Swaran Singh, former minister of external affairs and defence, took over as interim president until the full session of the All-India Congress Committee meets in a few weeks time. Previously Mr. Barooah had been in a Congress group which had heaped most of the blame on Mrs. Gandhi and her son, Sanjay, and he had resisted demands to step down.
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Background: INTRODUCTION The Congress Party's Working Committee met in New Delhi on Tuesday (12 April) to review its losing performance at last month's general elections. Former Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi had originally declined to attend the meeting, which began without her. But a delegation of senior members went to her home and she returned to the meeting with them, but left after two hours.
SYNOPSIS: Former Railways Minister, Mr. Kamlapati Tripathi was among the 100 party leaders who attended. They had a state-by-state appraisal of reasons for the party's losing 200 parliamentary seats -- and power -- in the elections.
The responsibility for the defeat was accepted by Mrs. Gandhi in a letter released separately on the same day. She also called for the resignations of the party's entire high command and this course was accepted at the meeting. A full party meeting is to be held in a few weeks and new officials will be elected then.
The crowd outside the building contained staunch supporters who called out their greetings to Mrs. Gandhi when she arrived. In a brief speech she called for party unity and said she would continue to serve the people. Mrs. Gandhi called for quick action to give the party a new image and suggested short-term strategy to fight local government elections likely to held soon in India's 22 states. She was Prime Minister for 11 years and she said she was not interested in finding alibis or excuses for herself over the shattering election defeat.