Challenges mount for Rahul Gandhi, Congress after Uttar Pradesh verdict

Both Goa and Manipur have thrown up hung assemblies with Congress finishing slightly ahead of BJP.

It is not right to blame Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for the party's defeat in UP Assembly election, said Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge.

Subrata Mukherjee, a political analyst who has taught at Delhi University, said that the Congress was down but not out and has to look beyond the dynasty to find a way out of its present "crisis" as Rahul Gandhi lacks credibility among the masses. He also blamed the senior party members and said that senior in the party sabotaged Congress. Dikshit added that after polls debacle, there was dissent within the party.

After prepping the party cadres, the Congress went into a three month long silence and then emerged to strike an alliance with the Samajwadi Party. The situation is such that in states like UP there are no tall leaders who can revive the party anymore. Leaders like Amarinder are the ones who can revive Congress and Rahul must take a role similar to that of Sonia - of controlling the party from the back room. "We are busy in saving each other than saving the party", he charged.

The Congress has always been a spent force in Uttar Pradesh and Rahul Gandhi's aim of resurrecting it in one of the most populous states of the country seems to have hit a dead end.

"There is no question of Rahul Gandhi stepping down", said Singh in response to media queries about a change of guard in the Congress top brass. In Amethi, the BJP won four, while the SP's Rakesh Pratap Singh won Gauriganj, where the SP and the Congress were locked in a friendly fight.

Rahul Gandhi, in his response to the poll verdict, said the party will continue its fight to win the hearts and minds of the people. "This is a mandate for a brighter future for Punjab and its youth", Rahul tweeted. "We are disappointed with Uttar Pradesh". "Election results have established Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the most dominant person with a country-wide appeal", said Chidambaram.

  • Leroy Wright