New Delhi: The Indian National Congress observed its 130th foundation day today. Party President Sonia Gandhi unfurled the Congress flag at the party headquarters, 24 Akbar Road, in the presence of senior leaders like former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni and Sheila Dikshit.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was not present and the party didn’t offer any explanation.
The Congress party, established on December 28, 1885, has seen its political fortunes dip this year.
After losing power at the Centre in May, the party has lost assembly elections in most states.
This year alone, it lost power in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and most recently in Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir, two states where it was part of the ruling coalition.
In Jammu and Kashmir, however, the party has secured 12 seats and could play a crucial role in forging a grand alliance against the BJP.
When asked about Congress’ role in government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, Mrs Gandhi said, “We don’t have the mandate of the people. Others will have to form the government.”
Asked specifically about supporting the PDP, Mrs Gandhi didn’t give a specific reply and smiled and walked away. Her colleague, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was more forthcoming and said the Congress has offered its support to the PDP, the single largest party in Jammu and Kashmir, and it is the PDP “who has to decide whose support it wants.”