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Uttar Pradesh: Cong’s losing candidate bares its ‘way of functioning’

Shishu Pal Singh Jatav alleges he did not get leaders’ help with campaign, sounds alarm for 2017

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
May 20, 2016 1:24:51 am

No sooner had the bypoll results come out, Congress’s Bilari candidate Shishu Pal Singh Jatav wasted no time in expressing his anger at the party’s “style of functioning”.

“If this way of functioning continues, then Congress is going to get ‘zero out of zero’ in the upcoming (next year’s) assembly elections in the state. PK (referring to party’s election strategist) would not be able to do much and prove to be a mere waste of money,” said Shishu Pal, who had to forfeit his security deposit, just like his colleague Shailesh Singh, Congress’s candidate for the other seat that went to bypolls, Jangipur.

The party failed to gain from BSP’s absence in the election.

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Shishu Pal’s anger spilled onto the leaders as well, when he said that “so-called known faces of the party in Bilari did not help me at all. “I worked hard during the campaign and one would not believe that the entire campaign was largely based on me, my wife and one more team led by the district president. I was asked to get in touch with some of the old faces of the party but instead of supporting, they acted like kings and queens, asking me to come next morning or the following evening.”

Pal said that he had requested the top brass to send leaders like Sushil Shinde and Raj Babbar to campaign but he did not get any response. “If the party does not learn from its mistakes, it would see worst results in the 2017 assembly elections and no one will be able to save it. Not even PK. Party cadre was not happy with me because I am an outsider but what did they do for the past 20 years….? There is something really wrong with the way the state unit is functioning. Let me make it very clear that if Congress could not get Dalit votes in the absence of BSP, what makes it think that the community would prefer it above BSP in 2017,” he added.

The extent of Congress’s performance can be gauged from the fact that in Jangipur, candidate of a lesser-known Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, Dinesh Kumar Maurya, polled 2,073 more votes than Shailesh, who is the party’s district president, and bagged the third spot.

The party’s experiment of nominating a Jatav in Bilari, part of its ‘Dalit leadership identification drive under which leaders were addressed also by their vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Lucknow last month,’ received a similar setback.

Moreover, party’s planning at the campaign stage, too, did not fly off the shelf, with only a visit each by state president Nirmal Khatri and senior leader P L Punia to serve as campaign work. This, at a time when BJP MPs and Union ministers set base at the two constituencies.

As the results came in, the party did not hesitate in admitting that its “experiment has failed” and Dalits “preferred BJP over us in the absence of BSP”.

“It is true that we could not get either Dalit or Muslim votes – while the Muslims’ (votes) went to the Samajwadi Party, Dalits voted for the BJP,” said Satyadev Tripathi, chairman of Congress’s state communication department. He, however, alleged that the ruling party “used government machinery to win the election”.

 

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