Most issues picked up by Rahul Gandhi and his senior Congress leaders during the UP elections appear to have been rejected comprehensively by the electorate relegating the party to a distant fourth with 28 seats. The party, which had led in 95 assembly segments during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, won only nine of those today.
* Rahul supported the farmers’ agitation at Bhatta Parsaul in Jewar assembly segment. Congress fielded Dhirendra Singh, a brick kiln owner who shot to limelight for getting Rahul to sneak into Bhatta Parsaul despite prohibitory orders. Singh lost to the BSP candidate by over 9,000 votes. But in Tappal in nearby Khair (SC), where farmers and police clashed, Rahul gave the seat to the RLD which defeated the BSP by 40,000 votes.
* Rahul went on a padyatra from Bhatta Parsaul to Aligarh where he held a farmers’ mahapanchayat. In both Aligarh and adjoining Koil Assembly segments, Congress lost to SP.
* In Azamgarh, Salman Khurshid claimed that Sonia Gandhi wept after seeing the pictures of the Batla House encounter. Of the 10 Assembly segments in the district, the Congress failed to win even one while SP won nine and BSP one.
* In Farrukhabad, Khurshid, campaigning for his wife Louise, took on the EC on the subject of Muslim quotas. His colleague Beni Prasad Verma, too, underlined this. The Congress failed to win even one of the four Assembly segments here, SP won three. Khurshid’s wife ranked fifth.
* Union Coal Minister and Congress MP from Kanpur Sri Prakash Jaiswal threatened President’s rule in the state if the Congress didn’t get the numbers — a view echoed by Rahul Gandhi, too. In three of the five Assembly segments in Kanpur city, the BJP won; one went to SP, the Congress got only one.
* As per some bizarre post-caste logic, Rahul told the world that Sam Pitroda belonges to carpenter caste during a rally of backward classes in Ramabai Nagar. Congress did not win a single seat in Ramabai Nagar.
* Rahul made a big show of tearing up the list of promises of Opposition parties to woo voters in Lucknow. Congress won the Lucknow Cantt seat among the nine seats in Lucknow, SP won seven.
* Rahul began his travel to Dalit homes from a village in the Mauranipur assembly segment of Bundelkhand. The Mauranipur assembly segment went to the SP and the Congress candidate was relegated to fourth place.
* He formally launched his UP election campaign from Phulpur, the erstwhile constituency of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the birth anniversary of Nehru last year. His speech here became the template for the over 200 rallies he held. The SP won the Phulpur seat, the Congress came fifth.
* Team Rahul made much of a strategy to poach into Mayawati’s Dalit votes through Rahul’s “personal touch” and a high-power team led by ex-Mayawati aide P L Punia. The Congress won only five of the 85 constituencies reserved for SC candidates.
* On February 4 in Mehdawal, Sant Kabir Nagar district, Rahul first announced that he would not tie up with SP. He didn’t need to. Mehdawal has gone to SP and Peace Party won another seat in the district, the Congress has drawn a blank.