Sources said that Gandhi inquired in detail about the gains made by the party in Bihar during the meeting, which lasted for around 45 minutes.
Amid indication that Congress is likely to participate in the grand alliance government in Bihar, Rahul Gandhi on Friday met AICC general secretary CP Joshi and PCC chief Ashok Choudhari, a pre-cursor to his proposed consultations with newly-elected party MLAs on November 19.Sources said that Gandhi inquired in detail about the gains made by the party in Bihar during the meeting, which lasted for around 45 minutes. On specifics he also wanted to know why the party lost on some seats, which it had earlier bracketed in A category from the winnability point of view. They include seats like Govindganj, Ramnagar, Pranpur and Valmikinagar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress vice president will meet all the 27 newly-elected MLAs and five MLCs on November 19 to seek their views on participation in government and related issues. There is an indication that the party could participate in the alliance government in Bihar. The grand alliance has won 178 seats with RJD winning 80, JDU 71 and Congress 27.Besides that of Chief Minister, there are 35 more berths to be shared, which makes it one portfolio for five seats each. PCC chief Ashok Chowdhury, who met Gandhi today said that the defeat of BJP happened because “Rahul Gandhi played a key role in forging the alliance” and backed Nitish Kumar as the CM face of the alliance. “Moreover, he gave the state unit a free hand in deciding the party matters including candidates,” he said adding all this helped Congress win this number of seats in Bihar. Congress had contested 41 seats out of 243, as part of the Grand Alliance, and won 27. This is almost seven times more against just four seats that it secured in the 2010 polls in which it had contested all the 243 seats.In fact, Bihar is a first major victory for the party after the Lok Sabha polls in May last year that had plummeted its stock to the lowest ever– a mere 44 in the 543-member Lower House. The party had not done well in the Assembly polls of Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.In Delhi, it had the ignominy of scoring a duck. Congress was a dominant force in Bihar till 1989 ruling it for most of the time since independence barring a few years including those after the Emergency which had brought the undivided Janata Party to power on the call of “Total Revolution” by Jaya Prakash Narayan. For over a quarter of a century, Congress has become a marginalised force in the Hindi heartland of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the wake of the Mandal and Mandir surge which saw emergence of the social justice forces and gave strength to the BJP.It is the general refrain in the party that the grand alliance could not have been possible but for the effective role played by the Congress Vice President. Leaders recalled that it was Gandhi who brought Nitish and Lalu Prasad together and played a key role of catalyst at a time when the RJD supremo was having reservations.The victory in Bihar is also being talked about as a good timing for Rahul to take over as party chief. The 40-minute meeting between Rahul and Nitish Kumar in Delhi months ahead of the polls played a crucial role and is being termed as “path breaking”, Congress sources said.