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From 21 seats in 2009 to 2: UP gives Congress thumbs down

May 16, 2014 21:34 IST

Five Congress ministers lose. Only Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi win. Sharat Pradhan reports.

The landslide victory for the Narendra Modi led-Bharatiya Janata Party in as many as 73 of Uttar Pradesh's 80 Lok Sabha seats has left everyone spellbound.

Even top BJP leaders including Amit Shah, who gets a lot of the credit for what is being described as a Modi tsunami in Uttar Pradesh, had not expected to bag more than 55 to 60 seats in the country's most populous and crucial state.

It was a clear wipeout for the Congress. Apart from party President Sonia Gandhi and her son party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who won from their bastions -- Rae Bareli and Amethi respectively -- the party failed to retain a single seat in the state.

Uttar Pradesh taught a lesson to the Congress, which won only two seats as compared to the 21 it secured in the 2009 general election.

Congress ally, the Rashtriya Lok Dal's tally was reduced to zero with its chief Ajit Singh losing from his family bastion Baghpat and his son Jayant Chaudhary suffering defeat at the hands of politician-turned-actor Hema Malini (Bharatiya Janata Party) in Mathura. Its performance in the 2009 polls was slightly better -- it won three seats.

Significantly, five Congress ministers -- Sri Prakash Jaiswal (coal), Salman Khurshid (external affairs), Jitin Prasad (minister of state for human resources development), R P N Singh (minister of state for home) and Pradeep Aditya Jain (minister of state for rural development) -- were ousted from Kanpur, Farrukhabad, Dhauraha, Kushinagar, and Jhansi respectively.

Friday saw a total decimation of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, which had won 19 seats in 2009. It failed to open its account this year despite having bagged 19 per cent of the total votes polled.

The ruling Samajwadi Party, which won 22 per cent of the votes, has to remain content with just five seats. And the wins are restricted only to party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's family. Two seats -- Mainpuri and Azamgarh -- have been won by Mulayam Singh. Of the remaining three seats, Kannauj has been retained by the Yadav bahu Dimple Yadav, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife, and the other two by Mulayam's nephews, Dharmendra Yadav (Badaun) and Akshay Yadav (Firozabad).

Image: A boy holds a poster of Rahul Gandhi during an election rally. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow