Cong downplays UP loss, says votebank politics has defeated development

New Delhi/Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Mar. 11 (ANI): The Congress Party on Saturday attempted to downplay its dismal show in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, saying the people have kept votebank politics above development.

Justifying his party's alliance with the Samajwadi Party, Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said the formula of association did not fail.

"Akhilesh Yadav brought about development in the state. In order to strengthen that development, the Congress allied with the Samajwadi Party. The people of Uttar Pradesh today have kept votebank politics above development," Shukla told ANI.

Ending speculations that the victory in Uttar Pradesh would boost the BJP's prospects in the next general elections, Shukla asserted that the electoral scene would be different in 2019.

"Just like they did nothing at the Centre for three years, they are going to do nothing in UP as well. The people will realise their mistakes then," he said.

While trying to cover the defeat in Uttar Pradesh by marking success in Punjab, another Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal said they were sure that they would win owing to the SAD-BJP government's failure in the state.

"We were aware in UP that we have less numbers. If you say defeat, it is in Uttarakhand. We are neck-to-neck in Goa and are leading in Manipur," Bansal told ANI.

Bansal opined that the people have given another chance to the Modi government, expecting them to work towards their welfare.

"The people have again given him an opportunity, but his growing arrogance would not help. He should now be determined to work towards the welfare of the people," he said.

Expressing happiness over the Punjab mandate, Bansal said they were always sure about the Congress thumping its foot in the state.

"We have always maintained that the SAB-BJP on the one hand and AAP on the other would fight for the second and third position. The Congress will surely lead far ahead of others," he said.

The early trends in the assembly election show the BJP leading in 292 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party 59 seats, the Congress in 11, while Mayawati-led Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) ahead in 18 seats.

Uttar Pradesh went to polls in seven phases in the months of February and March.

A total of 4,854 candidates are in fray for 403 assembly constituencies. (ANI)