The Congress scored 0-4 in the assembly poll results announced in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Congratulating her “opponents” for winning in the four states, a sombre Sonia told the media she was “very, very disappointed” with the election results.
“This result calls for deep introspection,” she said. “We have to understand to look at the many reasons for this defeat. We have to look into the way we did not take our message to the people.
“Also, we have to look at our own party if it is well equipped in running an election (campaign).”
Sonia admitted “many people were obviously unhappy (with the Congress). Otherwise there would not have been such results”.
She said rising prices of essential commodities was an issue with the electorate.
“We will introspect seriously and we will take all necessary action … We will rectify our mistakes.”
Sonia expressed confidence the results of assembly polls will not have a bearing on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. “General elections are quite different. People in state elections do focus on personality at the state level, at leaders who are likely to lead them,” she said.
However, in national elections, “people look at the person who is likely to guide them and govern them at the national level”, the Congress chief said.
Asked whether the Congress party would name its prime ministerial candidate against Bharatiya Janata Party’s Narendra Modi, Sonia said, “people need not worry as, at an opportune time, the name of the prime ministerial candidate will be announced”.
Initially, she appeared reluctant to give an answer when asked whether party vice president Rahul Gandhi would be named as the prime ministerial candidate. “We will make a statement. The party has to decide. The party will decide at the opportune time,” she said.
Rahul said: “People have given us a message, which we have heard.”
Noting the Congress party has to transform itself to stand up, he said: “We have to move to a new paradigm and give serious space to the common masses in our systems and processes.”