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Congress Worried Over Dismal Show In UP Polls

PTI 14 Jan 2010, 17:11:23 IST

It is introspection time for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh after a rout in the Legislative Council elections where the party could secure only one seat. What hurt the party most was the fact that traditional stronghold like Sultanpur too was lost.

The seat falls under Amethi Lok Sabha seat from where AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi is an MP. The young Gandhi had visited the area a month before the elections.

"Though the elections have been rigged by the ruling BSP but the party cannot take that as an excuse for its dismal showing especially in areas which are considered as its stronghold," a senior party leader said in Lucknow. 

Terming the showing in the council elections as an "alarm bell" for the party aiming to capture power in the state in 2012 elections, the leader said it should be taken seriously and the "black sheep" in the cadres should be identified and punished.

The party could win the lone Rae Bareli seat which is represented by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the Lok Sabha while its candidates fared badly on the remaining seats where the elections were held on January 7.

The party candidate in Sultanpur could poll only 93 votes in the electoral college of over two thousand, proving that the gram pradhans and the BDCs in the constituency had backed the ruling party.

UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi has blamed misuse of administrative machinery for the BSP showing and has said the party would challenge elections to all the seats where it lost by a narrow margin .

 "A report would also be sent to the high command after a thorough assessment of the election results", she said.

The party had contested 21 seats of the 36 seats where elections were held and barring one, lost all. Congress candidates took second position only on four seats.

Interestingly, Congress leaders Beni Prasad Verma and Pramod Tewari had supported BSP and Samajwadi Party candidates respectively in Barabanki and Pratapgarh as Congress had not fielded its candidate despite winning Lok Sabha elections on these seats.

The showing would however have no impact on the party's strength in the council as it has made up for the loss of one seat by bagging Rae Bareli.

The district units of the party would be taking up the assessment of the results and the performance and would be forwarding it to the state unit, party sources said.

"The district units would be taking up an intensive exercise to identify the loopholes as well as those who had betrayed the party," they added. PTI