Monday, January 2, 2012

How Rahul Gandhi Can Win Uttar Pradesh

The focus is clearly on the man who could be the next Prime Minister of India. Every meeting that Rahul Gandhi addresses, is covered with breathless anticipation. For many journalists who have been covering elections for ages, there seems to be a kind of rediscovery of the old magic of the Nehru Gandhi dynasty. And yet, the most optimistic experts seem to think that Rahul Gandhi will be a winner if the Congress manages to improve on its tally of about 22 seats that it won in the 2007 assembly elections.

But look at it another way. The Congress also won 22 seats in the Lok Sabha elections of 2009. And it came second in another 7 seats or so. Now each parliamentary constituency encompasses four assembly seats on an average. Do some simple mathematics and you realise that the party to be led by Rahul Gandhi potentially won about 130 seats in the UP assembly. And that was at a time when the media was projecting Mayawati as the next Prime Minister. Clearly, there was a voter connect with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress.

So why are media experts not talking about the Congress winning more than 130 seats in the UP elections? More importantly, is the team that advises Rahul Gandhi not aware of this? Even more importantly, are they aware of the odds but apprehensive about the results?

My take is that if the man can ensure at least some Congress workers are present in polling booths during elections, he might be in for a pleasant surprise.

But where are the Congress workers?


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