As the ruling BJP today secured a majority in Gujarat, state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said his party accepts people's verdict and he takes responsibility for the defeat.
Solanki also expressed full faith in the Election Commission for "just and fair" polls, but urged it to take steps to remove the doubts raised over the functioning of the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
"Being the state Congress president, I am taking the responsibility for the party's defeat," Solanki said. He said the ruling BJP failed to meet its 150-plus target, and registered its lowest tally in 22 years.
"We accept the verdict given by the people of Gujarat. We are grateful to the people for the kind of support they showed to the (the Congress's campaign of) 'Navsarjan Gujarat'," Solanki told reporters.
"(At 99 seats as per the latest results and trends) The BJP has got seven seats more than (what is required for) majority. The BJP had claimed it will get 151 seats. I believe this is the lowest majority by which the BJP has won.
"People of Gujarat gave us four per cent more votes as compared to 2012 Assembly elections. We have won around 80 seats, and we are grateful to them for this verdict," he added.
Solanki, who himself did not contest the election, alleged that the BJP misused money power and the government machinery during the campaign.
"The BJP spent a lot of money and misused the government machinery. And a section of people still raise doubts over EVMs. We have full faith in the Election Commission, and believe that election this time was just and fair," he said.
The poll body, however, should take steps to remove the doubts over EVMs, he added.
"At least five ministers of the BJP government have lost the election. The trust that people of Gujarat have shown in our wining MLAs will be justified as they will continue to work tirelessly for 'Navsarjan (rebuilding) Gujarat,'" hesaid.
He said attempts will be made to further strengthen the party organisation in the state.