Lucknow: Despite the drubbing in the 2012, UP Assembly elections, Congress is hopeful that the changes in the voting pattern in general and state polls will help it put up a good show in the state in the next polls.

"When it comes to Lok Sabha elections, voters look at the larger picture and vote for a party which they think can give a leadership at the Centre, notwithstanding which side they had taken in the Assembly polls. It was clearly evident in the 2009 polls," Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Nirmal Khatri told reporters.

Considering the fact that in the 2007 Assembly polls, the Congress had won only 22 of 403 seats, nobody had ever thought that it would capture 22 of 80 seats in the 2009 general elections, Khatri said to drive home his point.

Issues and concerns of voters during the state Assembly elections are entirely different from those in the Lok Sabha polls, Khatri reasoned.

"In the parliamentary polls, the acceptability and integrity of the leadership is of great importance and this is what will see that the Congress returns to power yet again," the UPCC chief said.

He said he was confident that the voters will rally around the young and undisputed leadership of his party. To a question on Rahul Gandhi's role in the state in the coming election, Khatri said it would not be right to keep him confined in one state as he was the party vice-president and a national leader.

"Congress still has the best leadership. In Lok Sabha elections, acceptability of the leadership among the masses is of prime importance," Khatri said. Asked about the state-level leaders, the UPCC president said the present state of affairs of the party is because its leaders are only drawing strength from Delhi without
themselves working hard at the ground level.

Hoping that the list of Congress nominees for next year's LS elections would be announced by June, Khatri said he felt that early announcement of candidates gives enough time to party leaders work in respective areas besides helping them to override the organizational shortcomings at the local level.

Khatri said development would be the main issue in the coming election and his party would try to make it clear to the electorate that only the Congress can ensure the progress of common man and take along all sections of society.


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