Congress on a high after comeback in Uttar Pradesh

May 16th, 2009 - 3:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) Congress leaders were jubilant Saturday after making a comeback in the politically significant state of Uttar Pradesh, where it was leading in 22 of 80 seats, with many giving credit to their general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
“Uttar Pradesh is a political force,” Rahul Gandhi, who represents Amethi in the state, said at a press conference here as it became evident that the Congress was going to confound predictions and improve substantially on its nine Lok Sabha seats in 2004.

Several leaders credited him with the party’s showing in the elections.

Said Communications and IT Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia: “All credit goes to Rahul Gandhi for single handedly reviving the Congress in Uttar Pradesh… What worked was the combination of Manmohan Singh’s policies and Rahul Gandhi’s thrust on party cadres and youth.”

“It’s the victory of the Congress policies implemented under the leadership of the party president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi,” said the president of the state’s party unit, Rita Bahuguna Joshi.

Joshi admitted that the results had “surprised all, including me”.

Her sentiment was echoed by senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan.

“We are happy with the results of Uttar Pradesh. In fact, we wanted to go with an alliance (with Samajwadi Party) because we knew that we were growing in the state. But they (the Samajwadi Party) did not realise it,” Chavan told IANS.

“The entire credit for the victory goes to Rahul Gandhi and the UPA policies,” Chavan, a minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, added.

“The ground was prepared ever since Rahul Gandhi led from the front. He enthused the youth. The able governance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s leadership were also the other factors.”

Congress will be giving special focus to Uttar Pradesh keeping the 2012 assembly elections in mind, he added.

According to Congress general secretary, a “new consciousness” was growing in the country’s most populous state.

After four hours of counting, Congress was leading in over 22 seats, Samajwadi Party (SP) in 24 seats, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), that had proclaimed its potential of winning 40 to 50 seats, was leading in 19 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trailing behind with leads in only 13 seats. Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) was ahead on just two seats so far, with he himself trailing.

In 2004, the Congress had won nine seats, the SP had won 39, the BSP 19 and the BJP 10.

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