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Did Non-cooperation by SP-BSP Lead to Rahul Gandhi's Amethi Rout? Congress Panel Begins Probe

A two-member panel, led by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s representative KL Sharma and AICC secretary Zubair Khan, met Congress workers in five assembly constituencies that make up the Amethi Lok Sabha seat to ascertain the reasons behind the shock defeat.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:June 1, 2019, 8:24 AM IST
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Did Non-cooperation by SP-BSP Lead to Rahul Gandhi's Amethi Rout? Congress Panel Begins Probe
File photo of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)

Lucknow: After giving its worst performance in Uttar Pradesh in the last three decades, the Congress has started its postmortem to analyse the reasons behind party chief Rahul Gandhi’s defeat from the Gandhi family bastion of Amethi.

A two-member panel, led by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s representative KL Sharma and AICC secretary Zubair Khan, met Congress workers in five assembly constituencies that make up the Amethi Lok Sabha seat to ascertain the reasons behind the shock defeat to BJP's Smriti Irani.

The panel has reportedly been informed by local Congress leaders about the “non-cooperation” by Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party workers at the grassroots level. The SP and BSP, which had formed an alliance to fight the Lok Sabha polls, did not field any candidate in Amethi in a show of tacit support to the grand old party.

The local leaders also claimed that the absence of a BSP candidate contributed to the defeat of Rahul Gandhi, even though he got more votes than his 2014 tally. They panel was told that the votes from the BSP candidate’s kitty went to the BJP instead of getting transferred to the Congress.

A senior Congress leader said, “The party chief had bagged 4, 08,651 votes in 2014 while he got 4, 13,994 votes in 2019. Meanwhile, the BSP candidate from Amethi in 2014 had got around 57,000 votes. Interestingly, this time the margin by which Rahul Gandhi lost Amethi was around 55,000.”

Local Congress chief Yogendra Mishra said, “The vote of the BSP instead of going to Congress actually got transferred to BJP due to absence of any BSP candidate. Also, the son of Gayatri Prajapati, who was mining minister in SP government, and SP MLA from Gauriganj Rakesh Pratap Singh, openly supported BJP. Singh extended support to Rahul Gandhi after getting directive from the leadership but it was too late by then.”

The panel will submit its report to the senior party leadership next week. Of the five assembly segments of Amethi Lok Sabha seat, Rahul Gandhi lost in four segments of Tiloi, Gauriganj, Jagdishpur and Salon.

However, speaking to the media, KL Sharma said: “We have taken feedback from Congress workers of Tiloi and Gauriganj segment as of now. The accusation of non-cooperation by SP workers doesn’t seem to hold any ground. We will be holding more feedback session before finally submitting our report.”

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