SP family feud, delay in alliance led to election debacle, claims Cong

SP family feud, delay in alliance led to election debacle, claims Cong

Congress leaders have listed out the reasons for the party’s dismal performance in the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The feud in the Samajwadi Party family, a delay in stitching the alliance with the SP and excessive reliance on strategist Prashant Kishor are the preliminary reasons for the poor show in the just-concluded elections, Congress leaders said.

As Yogi Adityanath was taking oath as the chief minister, Congress leaders were huddled in their party office in Lucknow,  deliberating on what went wrong. The Congress contested 114 seats in an alliance with SP and was reduced to single digits. Only seven Congress candidates won.

UP Congress chief Raj Babbar deliberated the party’s strategy for the elections with state leaders for nearly seven hours. A senior leader said a section of the state Congress blamed Kishor for, firstly, raising hopes of reviving the organisation through party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s public meetings and, then, settling for an alliance with the SP.

“It amounted to cheating the party workers,” another Congress leader said. On Saturday, a poster had come up outside the Congress office, declaring a Rs 5-lakh reward to any person finding Kishor and presenting him to the party leaders.

At the AICC briefing, spokesperson P L Punia sought to play down the poster incident. “I don’t think anybody from the Congress party is looking for him. The election is over and I think everything is settled now. People keep on playing this game,” Punia said.

A section of the leadership said the delay in striking the alliance due to the SP family feud also contributed to the defeat.

“An early announcement of the alliance could have helped workers of both the parties to co-ordinate better. In addition, in at least two dozen seats, the Congress and the SP had fielded candidates. This added to the confusion among the workers,” a senior leader said.

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