Cong MPs fail to stem rout

Party performs miserably on home-turfs of biggies such as Khurshid, Jaiswal and Jitin Prasada. Aurangzeb Naqshbandi reports. Cong MPs’ dismal show
Hindustan Times | By Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2012 01:19 AM IST

Weak fundamentals may have been the major factor for the dismal show of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh but the party even failed to restore some pride in the parliamentary constituencies of six Union ministers who come from the state.

The poor results in their parliamentary constituencies have put a question mark on the performance of these Union ministers.

The party lost all the five assembly segments that comprise the Farrukhabad parliamentary constituency represented by law minister Salman Khurshid. His wife, Louise Khurshid, stood fifth in the overall tally and lost her deposit from Farrukhabad despite his attempt to polarise the elections by playing the Muslim reservation card.

The results were same — zero — in steel minister Beni Prasad Verma’s Gonda constituency that too has five assembly seats.

Verma, a prominent Kurmi leader who was considered to be a prized catch for the party, could not even ensure the victory of his son Rakesh Verma from Dariyabad seat. Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, party’s UP campaign committee chairman, could manage just one out of the ten seats in his Kanpur constituency.

The story was no different in parliamentary constituencies of three ministers of state — Jitin Prasada (Dhaurahra), RPN Singh (Khushi Nagar) and Pradeep Jain (Jhansi).

While the party drew blank in the constituencies of Prasada and Jain (both have five assembly segments), it could barely win two out of the seven seats in Singh’s citadel.

The party fared badly in the Lok Sabha constituencies held by high-profile MPs such as Mohammad Azharuddin, Raj Babbar, PL Punia and Annu Tandon.

Azharuddin had received flak from voters in his Moradabad seat.

They had once even declared him "missing" and expressed their anguish by defeating Congress candidates from all the five assembly seats falling in his constituency. The party could not even open an account in Babbar’s Firozabad (five seats), Punia’s Barabanki (five seats) and Tandon’s Unnao (six assembly segments) constituencies.

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