"It's time for struggle. We are ready for it" -- this was Rahul Gandhi's message to partymen after Congress' Lok Sabha polls debacle as he reached his constituency today to thank the people for their support.
The Congress vice president accompanied by sister Priyanka Gandhi arrived here on his first visit after the party's humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in which the party managed to retain only Amethi and Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh. At a brief meeting with party workers at Congress office at Gauriganj, Rahul told reporters, "despite the fact that these are not good days for Congress in UP, the people of Amethi and Rae Bareli showed confidence in the party by supporting it and for this I thank them." "Now is the time for struggle... We will struggle", Rahul added.
At the meeting, when some party workers pointed out on the need to review the fall in Rahul's victory margin, Priyanka who had spearheaded the campaign for her brother, said that she would again come for this purpose after a week. Rahul said the party will fight back if any step is taken against public interest, according to local Congress leaders present at the meeting. He also appealed to the workers "to get ready for struggle".
Priyanka said that "people of Amethi have saved our honour. We are thankful for it." Rahul also said that very soon "the party will organise the review meeting", according to the leaders. Rahul had won 2009 Lok Sabha polls with margin of over 3.70 votes which came down to 1.07 lakh in this Lok Sabha polls. Rahul had defeated his nearest rival BJP's Smriti Irani.
Earlier, Rahul and and Priyanka garlanded photo of their father Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary at party office. They also visited Barolia village in Jamo area, where fire incident had taken place on May 19 and met victims and assured them of all help.