Debating India

UTTAR PRADESH

Khursheed: we are out of ICU

Wednesday 8 November 2006

Special Correspondent

Concern over BJP’s resurgence in U.P.

Sonia reviews poll results Increase in Congress vote share

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday appeared pleased with the party’s performance in the local body elections in Uttar Pradesh, with its candidates winning three of the 12 mayor postsacross three important regions in the State.

"We are out of the ICU [intensive care unit] and have shifted to the general ward," State unit chief Salman Khursheed told presspersons at the AICC headquarters here. The victory came in the backdrop of violence and muscle power used by the ruling party, he said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a meeting here to review the results. It was attended by AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot, in-charge of the State, and eight regional coordinators, including Nirmal Khatri, R.P.N. Singh and Sanjay Singh.

While the Congress registered victories in Bareilly, Jhansi and Allahabad, the ruling Samajwadi Party won only in Moradabad). The Bharatiya Janata Party swept through seven. The results of Lucknow are awaited.

Mr. Khursheed said the Congress vote share in the elections should be around 20 to 22 per cent against 6 to 6.5 per cent last time. While a majority of independents could have had the backing of the Bahujan Samaj Party, some of them could be Congress-backed candidates. The party won in important towns such as Rai Bareilly, Mirzapur and Fatehpur.

Defeat in Amethi

On the defeat of the Congress candidate in Amethi town, Mr. Khursheed said the poll management was left to the locals and did not in anyway reflect disenchantment or moving away of the voters from the party. While he campaigned in the area, the local leaders were asked to be managers by Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi.

He felt the BJP had grown and the Congress would make an analysis after the complete results were out.

Other leaders associated with the State were of the view that the BJP’s resurgence, especially ahead of the Assembly polls, was a matter of concern. They felt that while a final analysis was possible only after full details emerged, there was a possibility that voting on caste lines and consolidation of the majority votes could have occurred in a few regions.

See online : The Hindu

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