Date: 08 Nov 2010


Sonia Congress Loses Heavily In Rae Bareli \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha Constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has ceased to be the sole bastion of the Gandhi family and the Congress. In the just concluded Panchayat elections, the Congress suffered a humiliating defeat in Rae Bareli. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 70% of the Panchayat Candidates approved by Sonia, were defeated. The Congress Party lost 14 of the 18 Zilla Parishad Seats. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Fourteen of the 18 zila panchayat members who have won the elections, profess their loyalty, not to the Congress, but an Independent MLA, Akhilesh Singh. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The panchayat elections may not be important enough for the Congress president, or may not even ring an alarm bell in 10 Janpath, but if insiders are to be believed, the results indicate that resentment against Sonia Gandhi is gradually welling up in her own constituency. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ "Rae Bareli, today, is one of the most backward districts in Uttar Pradesh and Mrs Gandhi or her representative has not made any visible efforts to improve the situation. We get power for only 4-6 hours every day. Sadak mein gadde nahin, gaddon mein sadak hai (The roads do not have potholes, the potholes have roads). Not one of the projects announced by Mrs Gandhi has taken shape and unemployment continues to rise. Why should we continue to vote for the Congress?" asks Ashish Sonkar, a local businessman. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ A senior Congress leader from the district echoes similar sentiments when he admits that the people of Rae Bareli are getting increasingly disillusioned with the Congress. "You cannot wish away certain events by blaming rivals. We have lost in Rae Bareli and this is a fact. If the communication gap between the voters of Rae Bareli and Mrs Gandhi continues, the party will wake up to some harsh realities in the next Assembly elections," he says candidly. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ The Congress, at present, holds four Assembly segments in Rae Bareli: Bachrawan, Dalmau, Sataon and Sareni. The prestigious Rae Bareli Sadar seat is held by Akhilesh Singh (a former Congressman) who wields considerable clout in the district. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The main grouse of the people of Rae Bareli is that they have not yet reaped any benefits from the UPA government and are also at the receiving end from the Mayawati government. While the Central projects, including the railway coach factory, are yet to get going, the state government is making sure that Rae Bareli does not enjoy its VVIP status. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Besides, the people of Rae Bareli are also troubled by the fact that they do not enjoy unlimited access to their MP. The late Indira Gandhi kept an open house for her voters, but Sonia Gandhi does not meet her Constituency People without an appointment. 000000000