Rahul not to be blamed for UP poll debacle: Joshi (Lead)

March 6th, 2012 - 3:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Lucknow, March 6 (IANS) With the Congress nowhere near power in Uttar Pradesh, the party Tuesday sprung to the defence of its chief campaigner Rahul Gandhi, with state party chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi saying she was “hugely disappointed” and that the onus for the defeat lay with the state unit.

“Avishvas Rahul par nahin hai (This distrust is not towards Rahul),” Joshi told reporters as the votes were counted for the staggered elections.

The state is headed for a hung verdict with the Bahujan Samaj Party set to be voted out and the Samajwadi Party finishing on top, but without the half-way numbers needed to control the 403-member assembly.

Joshi said she was “hugely disappointed” with the results.

“UP results are shocking and this call for a deep evaluation as this is not what we have worked for as we were expecting around 100 seats. I take the onus on my as in last two-and-half years we have worked so hardly, still we failed so badly,” she said.

Defending Rahul Gandhi, she said: “Why should a campaigner accept responsibility? It’s the candidate and the organisaton that is responsible. Our campaigner did his job brilliantly,” she said.

“There are several factors - the state unit has to take the responsibility. The onus is on the candidate, the committee that selected the candidate. We have to all take a collective responsibility. National leadership cannot be held responsible.”

She said the organisation had been unable to convert the “wonderful atmosphere” generated by Rahul Gandhi into votes.

“I think there was some fault with our strategy and the way we contested at grassroot level, as in last 22 years there never has been such an atmosphere. I think we could not convince people on development issue, once again there has been polarization on the basis of caste and religion,” she said.

She denied that party’s image was hit because of controversial statements made by senior leaders in the state and it cannot be the sole reason for debacle in the state.

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