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Home > India > News > Columnists > Nazarwala

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Dame Luck favours dumb Congress in UP

February 06, 2009

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The Congress party is the proverbial dark horse in Uttar Pradesh [Images] for the forthcoming parliamentary election.

Luck is the most vital ingredient which nowadays seems to favour the Congress.

Mayawati [Images] had luck in good measure, otherwise this mediocre politician hardly has any wisdom to propel her to the top job in the state.

In fact, she has little else to commend her except good luck. Mayawati, therefore, became the chief minister of UP four times.

But now, luck seems to have abandoned her in UP.

Luck has clearly ditched her, shattering her dream of becoming the prime minister of India.

Dame Luck, now, seems to be veering towards the long-neglected Congress party.

Earlier the Congress would consider itself lucky if it could muster nine Lok Sabha seats. Today, it dreams of demanding 45 seats out of 80 through hard bargaining. It will, ultimately, settle for 25, surrendering 55 to the wily Mulayam Singh Yadav's [Images] Samajwadi Party.

Here is a situation of a strong contender with low self-confidence surrendering before a tough bargainer with relatively dwindling strength.

Mulayam Singh is a sheep in lion's clothing. He has lost his old Socialist fire, fervour and zeal. The one-time dhartiputra has acquired all the characteristics of the capitalist.

But to revert to the Congress party in UP, it does not have a single leader of any stature. Dwarfs like Mahavir Prasad and Shriprakash Jaiswal strut around in leader's garb.

None of them has any following worth the name. And, this includes Rahulbaba.

The Congress cadres are also non-existent.

The 'workers' all want Congress tickets to fight the elections. They are rank opportunists (eg, Akhilesh Das Gupta) who had earlier invented ingenious excuses to escape working/fighting.

Today, they are rushing/pressing for tickets.

The famed Gandhi name spells magic only in Rae Bareli, Sultanpur and Amethi.

There is no effect elsewhere in UP, in spite of Sonia and Rahulbaba doing their best.

Prices in the marketplace have not fallen as expected.

Noise over the India-US nuclear deal has settled down, but without much advantage accruing to the Congress party.

Terror attacks can take place anywhere/anytime in India. Sitting ducks abound. The Congress has reasonably failed in tackling terrorism, whatever its leaders may claim.

The prime minister, his P Chidambarams and Jaiswals cannot drag Dawood Ibrahim [Images] out of Pakistan into India.

Expecting the US to fight for India, and to act in India's interest, against Pakistan smacks of pathetic spinelessness.

The Congress party has no major poll issue to fall back on.

All said and done, there is nothing great to write home about as far as the Congress is concerned, more particularly in the context of UP.

Rationality, logic and objectivity suggest that the Congress ought not to do any better than it did in the last election (when it won nine Lok Sabha seats). In fact, it deserves to lose a couple of seats.

But all the above factors pale and fail when Dame Luck steps in.

There is a mild breeze blowing in the Congress party's favour in UP, much to the chagrin of Mayawati, the Bharatiya Janata Party and even Mulayam Singh.

That mild breeze is indifferent to everything else in the field. Dame Luck and the mild breeze seem to have teamed up to turn the tables against everyone else in the fray in UP.

Now is the time for the 124-year old national party to disdainfully spurn the paltry 25 seats offered by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

But this is a crucial opportunity which the Congress will squander, thanks to its inherent weaknesses.

And the Congress will rue the day for not going the whole hog and valiantly fighting in all the 80 seats in UP.

Former chief minister Ram Naresh Yadav is one really honest and clean leader in the party who is there for the asking.

He is the one and only hero Sonia needs to pick up and project in UP.

But as usual, this is asking for too much of the Congress. Its leaders will settle for those paltry 25 seats offered by Mulayam and waste their time sabotaging one another's prospects.

In true and typical Congress party style, if one may say so. And that is the pity.


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