Was Rahul Gandhi a flop in Uttar Pradesh? Or with the SP leaning towards the Congress for support will he salvage face by becoming kingmaker?
Gandhi campaigned extensively across Uttar Pradesh and visible throughout the election campaign, party leaders said the Congress party would gain more seats than the last elections thanks to his presence.
However, the initial leads seem to indicate that the Congress might not do as well as they thought or claimed.
Trailing in fourth place along with ally Rashtriya Lok Dal, the Congress may not have made the gains it wanted.
However, the surprise gainer in the Uttar Pradesh elections so far seems to be the BJP. With leads in over 50 seats the BJP is believed to have made the gains at the expense of the Samajwadi Party and not the Congress.
What this could mean is that the SP may gain enough to be the largest party in the Assembly but not enough to claim majority and might need to turn to the Congress for support.
And that’s a scenario that bodes better for the Congress than for the SP. The Congress would have been out in the cold if the SP had a complete majority.
The SP is also presently keeping all phone lines open with the Congress high command.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Shahid Siddiqui said,”Execept the BJP and BSP no party is untouchable.”
“We have been holding their hand for so many years, it is for them to decide whether they want to leave it or hold on to it,” he told CNN-IBN.
But wouldn’t that be a loss of face for Gandhi?
According to Lord Meghnad Desai on Times Now, the party can claim that the party was able to check the rise of the BJP in UP and Gandhi can play king maker in the state.
And sitting in power in Uttar Pradesh, even in a secondary role, could be a better idea than not having any say at all in the UP. The fact that the SP has not got the numbers to form its own government may just bring Rahul Gandhi back in the limelight.