Right from the first phase of the elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress leaders have been raising contentious issues for their vested interests. First, party’s prominent Muslim face and Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid hit hornet’s nest by making proposition of providing 4.5 percent sub-quota to the Muslims. The Congress’ move irked the entire Oppositions as well as some United Progressive Alliance partners. The Opposition leaders term Salman remarks over the minority reservation as the violation of model code of conduct. Later, Khurshid had to clarify his stand over the contentious issue before the EC.

UP election campaign committee chairman and Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jasiwal put the Congress in an awkward position by saying if the party fails to get majority, it would impose the President Rule in the state, a statement that came under attack from Opposition parties, forcing him to go for damage control mode.

Certainly, the party tried to avert the attention of people of state by giving such statements as well as deny them from new government duly elected by them.

“If the Congress gets majority, it will form the government. In case we don’t get clear majority we sit in the Opposition and I see no alternative but governor's rule,” added the Union Coal Minister.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has been the champions of such gimmicks. Digvijay attested the statement of Jaiswal. “The possibility of President's rule in state in face of a hung assembly cannot be ruled out altogether, said Digvijay.”

Moreover, Union Steel Minister and senior Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma went one step further by terming the Bahujan Samaj Party as a better ally of the Congress. Later the party had to distance itself from the Beni remarks over the tie-up with the BSP. Beni remained firm over his statement on eve of poll counting.

“The 99 percent Congressmen want to make post-poll alliance with the BSP, said Beni.” The Steel Minister had major say in the ticket distribution in the constituencies falling under Gonda and adjoing areas.

The political pundits see the Congress leaders’ statement as misleading the SP and the BSP.

Amar Kumar Sharma