New Delhi: Congress on Friday finished a dismal second, winning 52 out of 542 constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections, according to the Election Commission.
The party won eight seats more than it won in 2014 general elections.
The biggest setback for Congress was party president Rahul Gandhi’s defeat from Amethi, a traditional family bastion. BJP’s Smriti Irani won the seat with a margin of 55,120 votes. Irani polled a total of 4,67,598 votes.
Amethi is considered a stronghold of the Congress party since years. Gandhi has been winning on the seat since 2004.
Despite the poor performance of the party in 2014 general elections at the Centre, Gandhi had defeated Irani on the seat with a margin of 1,07,903 votes.
However, the Gandhi scion won from Wayanad seat in Kerala from where he contested for the first time.
Several Congress heavyweights including Mallikarjun Kharge (Gulbarga), Sheila Dikshit (North East Delhi), Ajay Maken (New Delhi), Bhupinder Singh Hooda (Sonipat), Harish Rawat (Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar) and Digvijaya Singh (Bhopal) lost from their respective constituencies.
However, party leaders like Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram), Karti Chidambaram (Sivaganga), Nakul Nath (Chhindwara) and Preneet Kaur (Patiala) registered victory in their respective seats.
The grand old party failed to open its account in 17 states, including Delhi. It, however, won 15 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala and eight out of 13 parliamentary constituencies in Punjab.
Meanwhile, BJP-led NDA is set for a second term after gaining a resounding majority at the Centre. The party has comfortably crossed the 272-majority mark and has won 298 seats. It is leading on five constituencies as per the Election Commission.