Breaking her silence on the Bihar defeat, Sonia Gandhi on Friday had a veiled message for both Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, implying that division between them was responsible for the 'disappointing results'.
In an apparent reference to Paswan, whose party contested the polls separately despite being part of the United Progressive Alliance at the Centre, she told the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting that the result was 'a signal for secular forces to remain united to more efffectively propagate the principles of equity, democracy and development'.
Her reference to 'development' during the address to the general body of the CPP was also seen as a criticism of Lalu, under whose leadership the Congress fought the Bihar polls.
Sonia, who is also the CPP chairperson, however, said that the big challenge ahead in Bihar also contained 'many opportunities' for strengthening the organisation.
After the brief reference to Bihar, she turned to the next round of Assembly polls due in five states, including West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu early next year, saying it was time for preparing the organisation for them.
The All India Congress Committee plenary session, she said, was being held from January 20 to 22 in Hyderabad and this would provide an occasion for imparting a new momentum to the organisation.