Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (Photo: Qamar Sibtain)
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's entry into active politics as the general secretary of AICC barely three months before the Lok Sabha elections has failed to woo voters in Uttar Pradesh.
Priyanka was made the in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh along with western UP in charge Jyotiraditya Scindia. It was an uphill task ahead for Priyanka to bring back the party's lost glory in the state in its triangular battle with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and newly formed Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP)-led Grand Alliance or Mahagatbandhan.
While some called it a masterstroke move, many perceived it as a hurried decision by the Congress.
Priyanka did 38 rallies during her campaigning out of which 26 were concentrated in UP while she also campaigned for Congress candidates in MP, Delhi, Jharkhand and Haryana. In 97 per cent of the constituencies where she campaigned, the Congress faced a defeat.
UP has always been a centerpiece of Indian politics as it is the biggest state in terms of its representation in Lok Sabha with 80 seats out of total 542.
The eastern UP which has 41 Lok Sabha constituencies included various key constituencies like Prime Minister Narendra Modi's seat Varanasi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's Gorakhpur along with Rahul's family's bastions Amethi and Raebareli.
The BJP-led NDA government got a massive mandate, winning 350 seats to regain power, while the Congress-led UPA managed to get only 90 seats in the Lok Sabha.
In Uttar Pradesh, the performance of the UPA was even more dismal as it only managed to win only one seat and the biggest blow came from Rahul Gandhi who lost from his family bastion Amethi to the BJP's Smriti Irani in a see-saw battle by a thin margin of around 44,000 votes.
However, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi managed to retain the Congress party' another bastion Raebareli.
The NDA won 59 seats while SP-BSP Mahagathbandhan managed to win 20 seats. The UPA got a vote share of 8 per cent. The Congress had contested 67 seats in UP, while its allies contested four seats in the state. According to the India Today-Axis My Nation exit poll, the UPA failed to woo voters across demographics.
While the Muslims and Yadavs favoured the Mahagathbandhan, the BJP-led NDA managed to get Jat votes along with majority, while Hindu upper caste also voted on bloc for the party.