Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Monday said the results of the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana showed that the party’s decline was over, PTI reported. The former Union minister claimed that the Opposition party had emerged out of a period of confusion and self doubt.

“It [the election results] gives them [Congress workers] a second breath, and I think it’s a reminder to all of us in the Congress that there is a lot of life in us and what we need to do now is to get back on our feet and fight with faith and conviction,” Khurshid told PTI. “I think it is a clear indication that there is no further slide and we can start reversing the tide.”

The Congress leader said the party required clarity of purpose even though it had an excellent manifesto. He asked his colleagues to stop deviating from the manifesto and taking contradictory positions. “We need a clarity of unity and purpose and I hope that we will be able to show that,” Khurshid said.

The Congress, which was in an alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra, won 44 seats in the 288-member Assembly. The Bharatiya Janata Party won 105. In Haryana, the Congress came second with 31 seats, while the BJP won 40.

Asked if the Congress could have performed better had it campaigned more effectively in the two states, Khurshid said there was a lot of confusion and self doubt in the party following the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress had won just 52 seats in the national elections held in April and May.

Khurshid said exit polls, which predicted a landslide for the BJP in Maharashtra and Haryana, were based on media perceptions, and there was no lack of conviction in the party.

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