UP Congress witnessing lowest popularity since 1998
Congress in Uttar Pradesh has witnessed its lowest ever popularity barring 1998 as its vote share dropped by almost 59 per cent since 2009 in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections.
Most of its candidates including several Union ministers were pushed to the fourth position as Congress has been the party worst hit by the BJP's surge in state.
Riding on the Muslim vote bank in 2009 elections by winning 21 seats, party leaders admitted that this time they could not even get a decent number of Muslim votes and some top candidates could not manage even 1 lakh votes.
The Congress 67 candidates managed only about 60.61 lakh of 8.10 crore votes polled statewide, or 7.50 per cent, down by 58.90 per cent from the 18.25 per cent (1.01 crore of 5.54 crore) of 2009. It was the party's lowest vote share in the state, barring 1998.
Congress managed just 7.2 per cent of the votes in the elections with winning just 2 Lok Sabha seats of Rae Bareli and Amethi represented by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party's vice- president Rahul Gandhi.
Those who finished fourth include union ministers Salman Khurshid, Beni Prasad Verma, Jitin Prasada, Pradeep Jain Aditya while other sitting MPs such as Annu Tandon, Rajaram Pal and Harshavardhan, and even state president Nirmal Kharti.
The most shocking loss for Congress workers has been that of Beni Prasad Verma, who was regarded as a grassroots Kurmi leader and spent a large share of his ministry's 'corporate social responsibility fund' in Gonda.
Jitin had been regarded as future leader in UP and Annu Tandon, who had won by over 3 lakh votes last time, too came fourth.
Interestinly, P L Punia, Mr Prasada and Mr Khurshid were defeated by the first timers and rookie in politics.
(Posted on 19-05-2014)