Price rise, dissidence, lack of intensity in campaigning and failure to highlight "misdeeds" of BJP-ruled MCD were today identified by majority of Congress MLAs as reasons for the party's drubbing in municipal polls.
At a meeting convened by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to analyse the poll outcome, most of the MLAs cited price rise, particularly hike in milk prices just ahead of the election, and dissidence in the party as major reasons for the defeat.
"Price rise was definitely an issue. A number of MLAs cited this as a reason for the defeat," said an MLA who attended the meeting.
Dikshit, after the four-hour analysis of the poll results, said the meeting reviewed the reasons for the defeat and corrective measures to be taken based on the feedback given by party MLAs and Ministers.
"It was a review meeting in which we deliberated on reasons for the defeat. We are taking corrective steps to address the shorcomings," she said. A report based on today's meeting will be sent to the AICC.
Replying to a question from the media whether corruption was an issue in the polls as claimed by BJP, Dikshit said "people living in glass houses should not throw stones at others."
In this context, Dikshit mentioned about sentencing of former BJP President Bangaru Laxman to four years rigorous imprisonment for taking bribe in a fictitious defence deal case.
The meeting was convened by Dikshit, for whom election result was very disappointing as she had pushed hard trifurcation of MCD in a bid to wrest back power in the civic body.
On whether price rise was one of the main reasons for the defeat, Dikshit shot back asking whether price rise was not taking place in BJP-ruled states.
She said if there were shortcomings on the part of the government or DPCC, they will be addressed.
A number of MLAs from North and East Delhi also cited lack of intensity during the campaigning and alleged some party workers supported the Independents instead of working for the party candidates.
"Dissidence in the party was one of the major reasons for the defeat," said a senior MLA in the meeting which was not attended by DPCC chief J P Agarwal.
Each of the MLAs attending the meeting was told to speak about election results in the wards that come under their respective constituencies.
Some of the MLAs said the party could not educate the people about alleged corruption and misdeeds of BJP-ruled MCD. They said BJP was successful in highlighting national issues in the civic polls.
A number of MLAs also appeared to blame the government for "failing" to carry out development works in unauthorised colonies which were provided provisional regularisation certificates.
They said residents of the unauthorised colonies, which were traditional Congress vote bank, did not support the party in the polls.
Several MLAs also asked the party leadership to analyse the reasons for dwindling support to the party from the minority communities.
Some of the MLAs indicated there was a need to make certain changes in the DPCC.
Dikshit, on her part, asked MLAs not to lose heart and work vigorously.