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Uttar Pradesh gave early premonition of clear mandate
UP gave early signals of 'clear mandate'. Political observers had written obituary of the Congress party. But, it rose from the ashes, much like the fabled phoenix. Rahul Gandhi is seen as the architect of its victory in the state and the country.
UTTAR PRADESH has often been called the microcosm of India. Its popular mood is often paralleled and mirrored in the rest of the country. In the last Assembly elections, political pundits opined that UP Assembly would have a fractured mandate. They were wrong. People gave a clear mandate to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its leader, Mayawati. The crux was ‘clear mandate’.
In fact, UP gave a premonition of a ‘clear mandate’ in the last Assembly elections.
In the 2009 Lok sabha elections, as the trends and later the results started pouring in, the popular mood of the country was like writing on the wall, loud and clear. It gave a ‘clear mandate’ to the Congress party and the alliance it heads, the UPA. At the national level, Congress emerged as the largest single party, while UPA emerged as the major alliance with 256 seats, heads and shoulders above its opponent, the NDA, which managed to garner just 162 seats.
Once again, it proved that the various exit and opinion polls, with the exception of one, were terribly wrong. Psephologists and journalists seem to have lost sync with the people.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, no one had predicted the reemergence of the Congress after almost two decades. Political observers had written its obituary. But, it rose from the ashes, much like the fabled phoenix. Congress won 20 odd seats. BSP, which people felt would emerge as the largest party (it was leading at one point, earlier in the day) also got as many seats as the Congress. The Samajwadi Party (SP) emerged as the largest party, just getting three seats more than Congress and BSP, with 23 seats in its kitty.
BJP surprisingly took a terrible beating. It barely managed to win 11 seats and with its pre-poll alliance partner, Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) getting five seats, the NDA (or whatever remained of it in UP) managed to get just 16 seats; with ‘Others’ winning a lone seat, UP gave its verdict for all 80 seats in the 15th Lok Sabha, on Saturday (May 16).
Congress MLA from City North (Allahabad), Anugrah Narain Singh, talking to this scribe, said, “Congress party’s thumping victory in the country and the state, is the victory of its pro-poor, pro-farmers and pro-people policy. Young Rahul Gandhi is the architect of the party’s victory in the state. He represented the humane (meeting poor people, eating with them, etc) and aspirations of the youth. Soniaji’s supreme sacrifice and the PM Manmohan Singhji’s good governance, along with his ability to take a resolute step in favour of the Nuke deal translated into votes.”
He added, “The Left parties were punished for opposing the deal. Land issues and other petty issues, often local or regional added up to its misfortune. The people voted for stability and good governance. Indian democracy has matured. The mood of the smart electorate is illusive for analysts, now.”
Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi won from their respective seats. The other Gandhis, another mother son duo, Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi too won their respective seats on BJP tickets.
Jaya Prada, the damsel in distress from Rampur was all smiles, as she won on SP ticket, humbling Noor Bano (Congress) and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (BJP). The aura of controversy and infighting in the party, with Azam Khan baring Rampuri knives, figuratively speaking, had to eat a humble pie.
The former cricketer Mohd Azharuddin too emerged victorious on Congress ticket from Moradabad.
Murli Manohar Joshi surprised many with his miraculous win from the temple town of Varanasi. He lost the last general election, in 2004, after being returned to the Parliament for three successive terms from Allahabad, where he taught Physics in Allahabad University. Allahabad does not send the same person twice or thrice easily. Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the few exceptions, other than the think tank of BJP, Joshi, to enjoy this feat. He quit Allahabad to contest from neighbouring Varanasi. The gamble paid off favourably for him.
Another Joshi from Allahabad, Rita Bahuguna Joshi is now the Congress MP from Lucknow. She defeated Nafisa Ali (SP). A former teacher of History in Allahabad University, she is the daughter of Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna. Like MM Joshi she too lost an election here and had left the city to try her luck in the state capital. The similarity is uncanny, observe many.
Reoti Raman Singh (Allahabad) and Shailendra Kumar (Kaushambi), both sitting MPs of the SP won, while the Phulpur seat was retained by the BSP candidate Kapilmuni Karwaria, who defeated Shyama Charan Gupta, a bidi tycoon and an hotelier, of SP.
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