UP Polls 2012: Congress' dynasty politics fails

CNN-IBN
Mar 07, 2012 at 04:31pm IST

Lucknow: Congress is in a self-analysis mode after its performance in the Assembly Polls in five states. The senior leadership says that the party has to introspect on the poll rout. Clearly, dynasty politics failed to work, with the children, spouses and siblings of senior leaders, all failing to make a successful debut.

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi was pitched as the party's star campaigner, who would singularly revive the Congress' fortunes in Uttar Pradesh. Rahul Gandhi used every trick in the book, from addressing countless rallies and meetings, rolling up his sleeves literally daring voters to be angry about corruption and poor governance in the state, to tearing up a piece of paper at an election meeting to drive home the point that "mere lists" of assurances were of no use. Rahul's sister Priyanka too campaigned extensively, but the Gandhi sibling magic failed, winning just a handful of seats more than the last election.

The grand old party got 28 seats in these elections, that is just six more than what it got in 2007. The seats it lost included the Gandhi family bastions of Rae Bareli and Amethi. To make matters worse, relatives of some senior party leaders lost as well.

Salman Khurshid's wife Louis came fifth in Farrukkabad. UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi's brother Shekhar lost in Phaphamau. Beni Prasad Verma's son Rakesh lost in Dariyabad. Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh's wife Amita lost in Amethi and former chief minister Jagdambika Pal's son Abhishek lost in the Basti area.

Many had called these elections a litmus test for the Congress' 'yuvraj' and the one that would determine his political future, but Priyanka did not think this way.

"One election will not determine my brother's political career," she had said.

However, Rahul Gandhi has accepted full responsibility for the poor show in the state. "I was leading the party and we did not win, it's my responsibility. But this hasn't stopped some from viewing him as 'Prime Minister material'. "Yes of course he is a PM material," Digvijaya Singh said.

While Rahul finds out why the Congress failed to make a comeback, the party will sadly continue to sit in the Opposition and watch Mulayam Singh take his oath to office in Lucknow.

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