Verdict 2012: Thumbs up for SP, Akali; Cong unhappy, BJP says better than expected

Riding an anti-incumbency wave, the Samajwadi Party today stormed to power in UP dislodging Mayawati while the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine sprang a surprise retaining power in Punjab and creating a history 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.
Agencies | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2012 09:37 AM IST

Riding an anti-incumbency wave, the Samajwadi Party on Tuesday stormed to power in Uttar Pradesh dislodging Mayawati while the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine sprang a surprise retaining power in Punjab and creating a 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.

The Congress has sought to take some credit for Samajwadi Party's victory in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, saying Rahul Gandhi had made "immense contribution" to creating atmosphere against the "misrule" of Mayawati which benefited Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters that the vote against BSP in the polls showed this development clearly.

"Rahul Gandhi has made immense contribution to creating an atmosphere against the misrule of Mayawati which ultimately benefited Mulayam Singh Yadav," he said.

However, many political pundits have told different news channels that even more than the assembly results, especially in Uttar Pradesh, being a disaster for the Congress, it represents a personal setback for Rahul Gandhi, who had invested so much political capital in the outcome by campaigning intensively. Photos: Verdict 2012

On the other hand, Akhilesh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party's young member of parliament from Kannauj, on Tuesday proved he had come of age in Uttar Pradesh's rough and tumble politics, steering his party to a landslide victory in elections to the 403-seat state assembly.

With results showing that the party has won 224 seats on its own in the state, all eyes are on Akhilesh Yadav who was in the forefront fielding the media and articulating the party's views and strategies.

As results started pouring in, there was speculation of Akhilesh becoming chief minister. However, he brushed it aside saying: "I am not in the race for chief minister's post. The party feels that the responsibility should go to Netaji (his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav)."

Akhilesh's leadership of the party in the most crucial state in Indian politics has only come in for closer scrutiny in the recent months and run-up to the seven-phased elections.

Considered a youth icon with a judicious mix of leadership qualities, he had, during the high voltage poll campaign, raised issues concerning both urban and rural India such as poverty, agriculture, corruption and social evils.

Party leaders said Akhilesh reshaped SP's thinking by going beyond caste mobilisation and sought to connect its campaign to the aspirations of the youth in the country's most populous state, which lags behind in human development parameters.

Akhilesh had jumped into the poll fray in 2000 during a by-poll and won the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat, previously held by his father. Since then, he has won all the Lok Sabha elections from that constituency. He had also won the Firozabad Lok Sabha seat in 2009, but vacated it to retain Kannauj.


The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, which in alliance with the BJP notched up a historic win in the Punjab Assembly election, today thanked the people for reimposing their faith in the combine.

The election results were an endorsement of pro-poor, pro-people and development-oriented policies of the SAD-BJP government, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal said.

Promising to carry forward the development agenda, the two leaders, in a statement, said the combine was committed to fulfil all the promises made to the people in the election manifesto.

The Congress has emerged as the single largest party in Uttarakhand, enjoying an edge against ruling BJP in a nailbiting finish for half way mark in the elections to the 70-member assembly.

Out of the 60 results declared so far, Congress won 25 seats and was ahead in eight others while BJP bagged 28 constituencies and led in three, Election Commission officials said.

The biggest setback for BJP was the defeat of chief minister B C Khanduri who was defeated by S S Negi of Congress from Kotdwar seat by 4632 votes.

Cashing-in on the anti-incumbency factor in a big way, the BJP-MGP combine today rode to power in Goa, ousting the Congress and securing majority in a House of 40 members, nearly half of whom will be new faces.

While the BJP won in 21 assembly constituencies, seven more than last time, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party raised its tally from two in the last polls to three seats in the March 3 assembly election results for which were declared today.

The Congress, which had 16 seats last time, was reduced to nine seats with many of its stalwarts, including several ministers and Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Subhas Shirodkar, biting the dust.

Okram Ibobi Singh was almost written off after last year's crippling economic blockade in Manipur but the 61-year-old warhorse scripted a spectacular hat-trick for the Congress in the strife-torn state.

Singh, who faced severe criticism for his handling of the over three-month-long economic blockade late last year leading to prices of essential items touching the sky, shrugged off the anti-incumbency by focusing on development activities undertaken by his government.

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