The Congress is upbeat over high voter turnout of 62-64% in the first phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls on Wednesday.
Party leaders were of the view that the voters in India’s most populous and politically important state favour a huge change this time given that this was the highest turnout in the past four assembly elections in UP.
Leading the list of upbeat leaders is party general secretary Rahul Gandhi. Addressing public meetings in UP, he said over 60% turnout reflected the mood of the people who were clamouring for a change.
Congress managers claimed that ire of the people this time was not only directed at the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) but the Samajwadi Party (SP) as well. In the 2007 elections, they argued that the people of Uttar Pradesh were angry with the Mulayam Singh government and accordingly gave a huge majority to Mayawati.
“But the last five years have been miserable for the people of the state. They have suffered at the hands of the Mayawati government,” a leader said.
Congress leaders hope that this “anger and the call for change” translate into votes for their party, which is seeking revival of its fortunes after being relegated to a marginal player in UP since the past 22 years.
“If people want a change for good in UP, they should vote for Congress. For, if they opt for BSP, SP, they will be only backing goons and corruption,” Gandhi said. Congress leaders are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the trend continues in other phases as well.