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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Akhilesh new UP yuvraj, Akalis keep Punjab

Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav won the battle of the yuvrajs in Uttar Pradesh, personally leading his party to a storming victory while the other scion watched from the sidelines and could only mutter at the end that he was to be blamed for the Congress debacle.
Samajwadi Party rode the anti-incumbency wave to trample the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh, while the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine sprang a surprise, retaining power in Punjab. The saffron combine created history in the state by breaking a 46-year jinx.
The BJP bagged Goa ousting Congress which managed to hold on to power in Manipur for a third successive term.
Uttarakhand proved to be a cliff-hanger of a contest with the Congress emerging the single largest party at 32 having a wafer thin lead over ruling BJP's 31.
Congress leaders at a media meet said they would stake claim to the government and would also approach newly-elected BSP MLAs for a post-poll alliance.
Personally for the Congress, the party failed miserably in UP, was 'shocked' in Punjab -- since it had 'sniffed' victory -- was unseated in Goa and is fighting tooth-and-nail with the BJP in Uttarakhand. The party, however, managed to sweep Manipur.
The Samajwadi Party announced Mulayam Singh would be their chief minister while Akalis said it would be Prakash Singh Badal.
In the heartland battle in Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh's SP knocked out BSP by winning 160 seats and leading in 61 others in the 403-member House. The ruling party was reduced to 80 seats from the 206 it had in the outgoing House.
The BSP has so far won 52 seats and was ahead in 27 seats. The Samajwadi Party had won 97 seats in the 2007 elections.
The BJP barely managed to repeat its 2007 performance. It won 34 seats and was ahead in 16 others. It had won 51 seats in 2007.
Equally dismal was the performance of the Congress, which sought to make big strides with a spirited campaign by Rahul Gandhi, winning only 19 seats and leading in nine. The party had won 22 seats in the last elections.
It became clear very early that Mulayam Singh would not need the Congress. It can now also ignore assurances of support from smaller outfits, including the Peace Party.
The UP results are a bitter blow to Rahul Gandhi who had staked his political future on reviving his party's fortunes in the populous state.
Rahul had campaigned tirelessly to revive his party in the politically crucial state where it has not ruled for 22 years.
The campaign, which thrust him into the rough and tumble of the state's politics -- even sleeping in villagers' huts -- was widely seen as a test of his fitness to take the reins of Congress from his ailing mother.
The Uttar Pradesh election was also seen as a measure of Rahul's ability to emerge from the shadows of government and come in the forefront in 2014.
The shock for Congress came from Punjab, which it was widely expected to wrest from the Akali Dal-BJP combine. The ruling coalition has won 68 seats, nine more than the required simple majority.
In all, the combine has registered a net loss of one seat from the 2007 results. But the break-up shows that Akali Dal has gone up from 50 to 56 seats while the BJP lost seven seats from 19 to win only 12 now.
The Congress won 46 seats, a gain of four from last elections.
The sole relief for Congress came from Manipur where the Party registered a spectacular success winning 35 seats in a House of 60 and was leading in seven others. The Trinamool Congress, which is set to become the principal opposition, has won seven seats.
The party lost its government in Goa to the BJP which has won 19 seats in the 40-member House and was ahead in one while its ally won three seats. The ruling Congress put up a dismal performance bagging nine seats against 16 it won in the previous elections. The BJP had won 14 seats in the last elections. 'Others' accounted for seven seats in Goa.
Uttarakhand witnessed a see-saw battle in which the leads shifted continuously. At 6 pm, it was the Congress which had a wafer-thin lead of one over the BJP. The Congress won 19 seats and was ahead in 13 while the ruling BJP won 24 and was ahead in seven.
BJP, which has said the Governor should invite the party to form the government claims the support of the lone Uttarkhand Kranti Dal (P) winner and three Independents. Interestingly, the BSP has won one seat and was ahead in two.

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