The Uttar Pradesh election results – against the Congress

The election results of Uttar Pradesh on the 6th of March were a surprise to everyone, to the pollsters, and to the political parties as well. For quite some time now, the Congress has the hope that they will be able to improve their tally in this state, the state that has the largest number of seats in terms of state assembly and in terms of Parliament. Towards this end, the young and bright hope of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi, has given it a lot of attention in the past few years. This includes tactics such as spending time with Dalit families, being there in farmers land agitations, and even letting other Congress leaders raise issues such as the Batla House encounter (in order to apparently appeal to the Muslim community).
However, the election results have totally thrown the Congress askew, not even their worst case projections told them that they would have got 50+ seats, not the mid-20’s that they got. But, this was compounded by the fact that they lost Goa, and were sure that they would win Punjab and Uttarakhand, which did not happen. Uttarakhand may provide the Congress with a fig leaf, in addition to the win in Manipur.
But as of now, one really does not expect the Congress to do any serious introspection about why they lost. They are more determined to prevent any of this taint from sticking to Rahul Gandhi. Rather than worry about their abysmal reputation in terms of corruption of the UPA government, there is a strong chance that the party will want a more populist budget and policies rather than try and ensure reform and development. The economy is slowing down, manufacturing is slow, and yet they do not see those as critical issues. At current trends, the Congress is not in a good shape, and the allies are likely to keep on throwing their weight.
The BJP is not in a better position. It actually reduced its count in UP, which means that it is not being seen as a party that is an alternative, and it is necessary to show a drastic improvement so as to attract allies over the country; else the BJP will always be stuck below the 150 level mark, and never be in a position to form the Government.

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