With the Uttar Pradesh Assembly results swinging hugely in favour of the BJP, the grand old party of the country, the Congress, today found itself completely humbled by the verdict handed to it by the electorate.
The Congress had pinned its hopes on an alliance with the Samajwadi Party, led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, only to find that the partnership had not even managed to win 70 of the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress is even on the verge of losing one of the two Gandhi seats, Amethi, to the BJP. The constituency is represented by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Parliament.
With the loss of the Hindi heartland, the Congress campaign, led by Rahul Gandhi, failed to make much of a dent in the party's fortunes. The BJP is romping home with a clear majority with more than 300 seats under its belt and is all set to form a government in the state after 15 years.
The party leadership said that the defeat would be analysed and steps would be taken to improve its standing in the next election. Yet, the Congress has remained silent on whether the defeat in Uttar Pradesh is a loss of face for the party's central leadership .
"Yes, UP is a bad loss, it hurts. I agree that, in UP, we need fundamental restructuring. These have to be hard, tough decisions about strategy," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
However, the leadership appears quite upbeat about its victory in Punjab. While Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad attributed the party's defeat in Uttar Pradesh to "public mood", he said that the party's gains in Punjab and Goa should not be ignored.