New Delhi — Rahul Gandhi is set to face a backlash from within the main Indian opposition Congress Party after it suffered a mauling for a second general election in a row from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party. The drubbing was so bad that Gandhi himself lost the traditional family seat in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. As vote-counting trends on Thursday showed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning more than 300 seats against just 49 for Congress, current and former party officials blamed a lacklustre campaign and a failure to overhaul its top team. “If they want to change anything, change the leadership,” said a Congress official in the western state of Rajasthan, referring to the old guard around Gandhi. “You need to give young people a chance.”

He was among five current and three former party officials who told Reuters said that Gandhi’s inability to jettison older leaders responsible for a major debacle in the 2014 general election and pu...

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