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Congress Loses Everywhere, Even Strongholds Amethi And Rae Bareli

UP Election Result: Congress failed to challenge the rise of Dalit and OBC politics and then BJP poached its MLAs, which meant India’s grand old party lost the elections even before the votes were polled.

Congress loses big in Uttar Pradesh
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As the counting of votes comes to an end, the oldest party of India has emerged as the biggest loser in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. As of now, the Congress is leading only in two out of 403 seats in UP – none of these is Amethi or Raebareli, the family bastions of the party.  

This should dampen the spirits of those who believed that Priyanka Gandhi's entry into UP politics would infuse new energy into the party. She thanked party workers for their efforts with a tweet: “We contested the elections with all our might. Despite not having a government in the state, the way you all struggled and remained committed to the political values makes me proud.”

Priyanka had brought the focus on women with the slogan Ladki Hoon Lad Sakti Hoon (I’m a girl, I can fight), and gave tickets to as many as 159 women. None of it was, however, to bring voters to the party. Talking to Outlook, UP Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lallu says he will work harder from here on. “We did whatever we could. We led a campaign for justice for the Hathras victim, and then in Lakhimpur Kheri. We accept the mandate. In a democracy, people are supreme, and if they reject us, we will introspect and lead a new campaign on issues that matter to people in the state,” says Lallu.  The party that dominated the state’s politics once was not able to form a government here since 1989.

Congress first failed to challenge the rise of Dalit and OBC politics, and then BJP completely pushed it out of the game. Congress is in the fall in other states as well. It lost in Punjab, with its CM Charanjit Singh Channi and PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu losing their constituencies. It failed to dislodge BJP in Uttarakhand, as the ruling party bucked the trend to retain power.  

To gauge the defeat, go back to Raebareli, the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. For decades now, Congress dominated the neighbouring towns of Amethi and Raebareli. Since 2004, Rae Bareli LS constituency elected Sonia Gandhi, with Feroze Gandhi and Indira Gandhi winning the seat on many occasions. Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi would represent Amethi before BJP leader Smriti Irani trounced Rahul in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Just before the elections, BJP poached Aditi Singh (Raebareli Sadar) and Rakesh Singh (Harchandpur), the two Congress MLAs under the Raebareli Lok Sabha constituency, along with the Nagar Palika president Purnima Srivastava. Congress lost the elections even before the votes were polled.  

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