LUCKNOW: The UP bypoll results, which left the ruling saffron party battered by losing both parliamentary seats to SP backed by the BSP, pushed the candidates of the Congress party further down in the final tally on Wednesday.
The Congress party, which had offered an alliance with the old friend SP, was spurned by the latter and was left to go it alone in the by polls.
While in Phulpur, Congress candidate Manish Mishra secured just 2.6% of the total votes polled, Dr Surheeta Kareem who represented the party in Gorakhpur could earn just 2% votes. The candidates could
not even save their deposits despite high octane campaign spree headed by party president Raj Babbar.
The vote share of the party in Phulpur, which was once represented by Jawahar Lal Nehru and Vijay Lakshmi Pandit, was lowest since 2009 Lok Sabha.
In Gorakhpur too, Congress party’s performance has remained dismal votes since 1984. Congress Party's humiliating decimation could potentially establish the resurgence of the regional parties - SP and BSP - even as they gear up to take on BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Despite their terrible loss, the Congress party joined the victory celebrations of SP-BSP combine flagging BJP's defeat while refusing to comment on the reasons for its defeat on the two seats.
While state president, Raj Babbar was not available for comments, senior leader Jitin Prasad quoted Rahul Gandhi saying that they would look into the reasons for defeat. “But as Rahul ji had said (in his tweet), that Congress Party was committed to re-invent itself in UP but no change comes overnight," Jitin said.
Talking about BJP's loss, Prasad felt it was a very significant development which would set a new political narrative in the country.
“This defeat is an answer to BJP's arrogance, the results mark the beginning of the end of Modi rule in the country," he maintained. Hailing SP-BSP's victory, Congress leader in UP Vidhan Sabha, Ajay Kumar said, "the mandate clearly reaffirms that the people are fed up of a government which has done nothing except making fake promises."
When asked to comment on Congress's poor show, he said: "I think the people did not see Congress as the
Talking about the way forward, party leaders stated that the bypoll had validated the power of an alliance but stated that any decision on this would be taken by the party high command.