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Some hail while others mock the leadership of Rahul Gandhi

Last updated on: March 7, 2012 09:13 IST

Some hail while others mock the leadership of Rahul Gandhi

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Opinion was divided on the success or otherwise of Rahul Gandhi's hard campaign in Uttar Pradesh during which he toured 207 constituencies.

With Congress appearing to be winning only 28 seats in the 403-member house, the 'Mission UP 2012' by Rahul is ending up adding only six more seats to its tally in the previous assembly election.

The tally was far less compared to the leads secured by Congress in 95 assembly segments of the 22 Lok Sabha constituencies that the party had won in 2009.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the results show that this is the "second consecutive defeat for Rahul" in Uttar Pradesh, while former Union minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad gave him credit for strengthening his party.

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Image: Rahul Gandhi


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'UP results have come as a big shock for the Congress'

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"Rahul Gandhi has worked very hard. Congress has got strengthened due to Rahul in Uttar Pradesh. Victories and defeats are part of elections and people decide it.

Whatever Congress has gained in UP is due to Rahul. He has made the party visible in the state," the RJD chief told PTI.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari said, "...Congress party had made the elections a prestige issue for Rahul Gandhi. The results have come as a big shock for the party."

Congress leaders like Salman Khurshid, Ambika Soni, Digvijay Singh and Janardan Dwivedi hailed the leadership of Rahul maintaining that he has made "immense contribution" to end the "misrule" of Mayawati.

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Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

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'Rahul third time unlucky, has failed to make a mark'

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What has really come as a rude shock to the party is that it performed miserably even in its pocket borough of Raebareli and Amethi, where it won only two of the ten seats. Congress had won seven of these seats in the last election.

The party also fared badly in Bundelkhand region for which the United Progressive Alliance government announced a special package after Rahul's initiative.

In Raebareli represented by Sonia Gandhi, Congress lost all five seats. Even in Rahul's constituency, Amethi, the party could win only two out of the five seats. In the adjoining Sultanpur, too, the party lost five assembly seats.

Rahul's detractors pointed out that the young leader has been third time unlucky as he had failed to make a mark in Bihar assembly polls in 2010 and in Tamil Nadu in 2011.

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Image: Rahul interacts with his supporters after a election rally in Rae Bareli


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'Rahul has energised the Congress in Uttar Pradesh'

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In West Bengal, too, the Rahul magic had failed to work as Congress rode piggyback on Mamata Banerjee to share power with Trinamool Congress.

Nationalist Congress Party's D P Tripathi, however, said Rahul has energised the Congress in Uttar Pradesh to help it stand as a political party after 22 long years.

Incidentally, his party chief Sharad Pawar had said Rahul will be held responsible for the success or failure of Congress in the state.

While Rahul himself said that it was a "good lesson" for him and he would take the defeat in his stride, party leaders recalled that he himself has remarked that he was for a "long haul" in UP.

Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan said Rahul worked hard to strengthen his party in UP and the results, though not so good for Congress, cannot take away the credit from him for bringing the party into focus in UP.

"He is not a leader sitting at home. He visited Dalit homes and farmers and has created an image for himself, which will help Congress in future. People voted for SP as it was the only party with a vote base and organisation in UP to be able to defeat BSP," he said.

Prakash Javdekar of BJP said it is not about individuals like Rahul or Sonia and added that "the Congress' sole independence on one family is the party's bane. If the family fails, Congress fails".




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