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Rahul Gandhi admits 'defeat' in UP

Rahul Gandhi admits 'defeat' in UP

Though his roadshows in SP strongholds have got good responses, Rahul has cautioned it's too early to expect anything.

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi, probably Congress’s last hope in UP, has almost conceded defeat.

While his roadshows through Samajwadi Party strongholds of Bhartana and Lalitpur in southern UP have drawn good responses, Rahul is now cautioning everyone not to expect immediate results.

Talking with reporters in Kanpur in central UP, the Gandhi family's scion said that this was just the beginning of a long journey for Congress.

Rahul Gandhi also suggested that he “appreciated" former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao despite his criticism of over the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

"Just because I have criticised someone on the issue does not mean that I do not appreciate him," he was quoted as saying by agencies.

Rahul’s remarks came days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed Rao as a “sanyasi in politics". Singh had also said Rao had been his friend-philosopher-guide.

Without mentioning Rao, Rahul’s reference was apparent.

Gandhi's statement – that the Babri Masjid wouldn’t be demolished had a Gandhi been in power - had triggered a massive political storm.

The BJP, the Samajwadi Party and the Left attacked him, dubbing him "anti-Hindu", while others said he was "anti-Muslim".

(With agency inputs)

first published:April 04, 2007, 14:21 IST