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'Congress leaders destroyed what Rahul Gandhi built'

Last updated on: March 6, 2012 18:52 IST

'Congress leaders destroyed what Rahul Gandhi built'

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Professor Badri Narayan Tiwari, social historian and anthropologist at Allahabad's G B Pant Social Science Institute, is an expert on Uttar Pradesh politics, among many other issues.

He is clearly not surprised by the UP assembly election 2012 results. He tells Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar why.

Were you expecting these results?

Yes! It is close to what we expected.

The Bahujan Samaj Party has lost in a big way. We thought Mayawati will get 120 seats, but it looks like she will get only 100.

The Congress did not perform well. They did not do as well as we expected.

Are Mayawati's statues the main cause of her defeat?

More than the statues, the reason lies in the fact that the rainbow coalition she put together during the last elections did not hold. The Other Backward Classes-Dalit-Brahmin combination did not last.

She did not give them the power they expected. Corruption and anti-incumbency also cost her many votes.

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For the latest on the UP election, please check Rediff Realtime News


Image: Rahul Gandhi addressed 211 political rallies in Uttar Pradesh


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'The goondas are well entrenched in the Samajwadi Party'

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Mulayam Singh Yadav's reign was known for its goonda raj.

Do you think his son Akhilesh Yadav will be able to keep the goondas at bay? It's something he has repeatedly mentioned in his election speeches.

Akhilesh will try, but it is very difficult. The goondas are well entrenched in the Samajwadi Party and in Uttar Pradesh.

Raja Bhaiya (Raghuraj Pratap Singh, the dreaded MLA from Konda, Pratapgarh) and Vijay Mishra cannot be controlled. There are many like them waiting for the right time; and the right time has come for them.

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For the latest on the UP election, please check Rediff Realtime News


Image: Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav addresses an election rally
Photographs: Pawan Kumar /Reuters

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'Rahul Gandhi had to start from zero'

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Why has the BJP done so well?

The BJP has not done well. They had 50 seats; now they have 55. They have not been able to add substantially to their number of seats.

Why has the Congress fared badly despite Rahul Gandhi's intensive campaign?

The Congress has no organisation. There are no cadre and there are no state leaders.

Who will solve the local problems if there are no local leaders?

Rahul Gandhi had to start from zero, he had nothing. And the leaders who did come here destroyed what Rahul Gandhi had built up.

Akhilesh, on the other hand, had everything. He had the cadre, the organisation and the Yadav label.

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For the latest on the UP election, please check Rediff Realtime News


Image: Rahul Gandhi, during an election meeting at Jari village, Uttar Pradesh
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

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'This is a vote against Mayawati's personality politics'

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Is this a verdict for development or a verdict against Mayawati's statues and self-promoting regime?

It is a vote for development and it's a vote against the personality politics of Mayawati and her self aggrandisement.

Do you think the Samajwadi Party will be able to take UP on the growth path, like Nitish Kumar has done in Bihar?

Akhilesh will try his best. But it won't be easy and it won't be immediate.

Will this lead to a plethora of cases against Mayawati?

Yes! There are many allegations of corruption against her and they will be investigated.


Image: Mayawati poses under the statues of Dalit icons B R Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and of herself
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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