Babbar bolsters Congress confidence in Maya's UP

Actor-turned politician beats Mulayams daughter-in-law

As Babbar beat Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav in the byelection in the Firozabad Lok Sabha constituency, the Congress on Tuesday appeared confident to return to power in the key Hindi heartland state after a long gap of almost two decades.

“We are confident that the Congress would form a government in UP after the next assembly polls,” said the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Digvijay Singh.

Singh is in charge of the Congress’ affairs in Uttar Pradesh and is believed to be the brain behind the party’s resurgence campaign in the state.

People’s faith

He said Babbar’s victory in Ferozabad signaled that more and more people in Uttar Pradesh were now reposing their faith in the party once again.

As his daughter-in-law’s defeat by a huge margin of 85,343 votes came as a personal setback to Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Congress rubbed salt in his wound.

“The Samajwadi Party is nowhere in Uttar Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s base has also been eroded. The next electoral battle in the State will be between the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party,” added Singh.

The Samajwadi Party could not even win any of the Uttar Pradesh’s 11 assembly seats for which bypolls were held. Though the Samajwadi Party still supports the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government from outside, the relationship between the two worsened over the past few months with Mulayam and his MPs being among the most vocal critics of the government during the last budget session of Parliament.

Rahul factor

Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh said that Dimple had lost the byelection because Rahul Gandhi had campaigned in favour of Babbar, a ‘turncoat’, who quit Mulayam’s party and joined the Congress last year.

Samajwadi Party Member of Parliament Sheilendra Kumar admitted that the bypoll results had come as an unexpected blow, although it was well predicted that the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party would do better.

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