Lucknow: From failing to win even a single seat in 1998, the Congress has scripted one of the most successful comeback stories in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh in this Lok Sabha elections.
From a mere 12% vote share getting nine seats in 2004 to around a 20-seat win this time, the party has not only surprised its political adversaries, but also its own leaders, who had entered into the poll fray on a very sticky wicket, specially after the Congress failed to strike a deal with the Samajwadi Party.
As per the Election Commission data, 1998 was the lowest point for the Congress when it was completely routed from the state and received only 6.02% of the total votes polled.
In the Lok Sabha polls in 1999, the party bagged 10 seats and its winning percentage slightly improved to 13.16%.
This time the gamble of going it alone in the Lok Sabha elections after failing to strike a pre-poll understanding with the Samajwadi Party has paid off for the Congress. The state has the largest number of Lok Sabha seats at 80.
“The party high command’s decision to contest the elections on its own has paid rich dividend in the state,” a senior party leader here said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi wins Rae Bareli seat defeating her nearest rival R S Kushwaha of BSP by a margin of 3.72 lakh votes.
She had won the seat in 2006 byelections by a margin of 4.17 lakh votes.