Congress springing big surprise in Uttar Pradesh

May 16th, 2009 - 12:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Lucknow, May 16 (IANS) Surprising everyone but its staunch supporters, the Congress - powered by some indefatigable campaigning by Rahul Gandhi - appeared headed for its biggest comeback in Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends the maximum of 80 MPs, with trends indicating a huge leap for the country’s ruling party.
After three hours of counting, Congress was leading in over 20 seats, Samajwadi Party was also leading in 20 seats, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), that had proclaimed its potential of winning 40 to 50 seats, was leading in 21 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trailing behind with leads in only 15 seats. Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) was ahead on just two seats so far, with he himself trailing.

That the voters of Uttar Pradesh appeared to be veering towards national parties was visible in the early leads taken by both the Congress as well as the BJP in comparison to their showing in the 2004 elections. While Congress had won only nine seats then, the BJP’s tally too stood at a paltry 10.

While gains for the BJP had been predicted by most poll analysts, not many were willing to accept the existence of a Congress undercurrent in several parts of Uttar Pradesh, where it had been out of power for two long decades. This Lok Sabha election appears to have brought the party on a revival path in this state, where it held sway for the first four decades after independence.

While the top leaders of all other parties were camping in New Delhi, BSP supremo and Chief Minister Mayawati preferred to keep herself confined within her official residence in Lucknow’s Kalidas Marg, accessible only to a handful members of her inner coterie.

According to some insiders, Mayawati was looking quite grim and worried over the party’s performance. The BSP was the only party to have contested all the 543 seats across the country, but apart from the state, its leads were limited to one seat each in Himachal Pradesh Madhya Pradesh.

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