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Cong pins hope on smaller parties

The Congress leadership has been quick to draw a realistic picture of seats they may be losing out on and emergency measures that need to be put in place to ensure it a third term.

delhi Updated: Dec 04, 2008 00:54 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

Assembly polls over, it is time for politicos to sit back and assess the damage. The Congress leadership has been quick to draw a realistic picture of seats they may be losing out on and emergency measures that need to be put in place to ensure it a third term.

“If there is a hung assembly, which appears quite possible after the Mumbai terror strikes, the Independents and smaller parties can bail the Congress out. We expect to win 33 assembly seats straight down,” said a Congress leader.

Of the 12 reserved (for scheduled castes) seats that are considered Congress strongholds, only one — Bawana (52.67 per cent) — registered less than 55 per cent polling.

The 11other reserved seats recorded more than 55 per cent voting — Mangolpuri (65 per cent), Kondli (61.7 per cent), Sultanpur Majra (61.6 per cent), Gokulpur (61.16 per cent), Trilokpuri (60 per cent), Seemapuri (58.64 per cent), Ambedkar Nagar (56.42 per cent), Deoli (5615 per cent), Karol Bagh (58.78 per cent), Patel Nagar (56.65 per cent) and Madipur (58 per cent).

United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had addressed rallies in Mangolpuri and Seemapuri.

Congress sources conceded that on seats like Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would have made a dent in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, but attribute the heavy turnout in other reserved seats to the Bahujan Samaj Party effect.

“These seats normally witness heavy turnout, but this time the BSP, which fielded candidates on all these seats, drew the extra voters out,” said a Congress leader.

The Congress is also hoping that friendly parties like the Lok Janshakti Party and the Nationalist Congress Party win a few seats so that they can be approached for support once the results are out.

Congress insiders said the party was already working to keep those crucial numbers in its favour.

Delhi party chief Jai Prakash Aggarwal, however, said it was too early to say anything.

“We are hoping to win by a comfortable margin. The rest can be seen when results are announced on December 8,” said Aggarwal.