After winning just two seats of the 80 in Uttar Pradesh during the 2014 general elections, the Congress had its back to the wall. With the state accounting for 15% of the lower house, a big win here is often the pathway to forming the government in Delhi. That’s exactly what helped the BJP with its 71-seat haul, sweeping it to power. Now the Congress has turned to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to give the grand old party the much needed fillip. As the lady embarked on a 140-km Ganga Yatra from Prayagraj to Varanasi on a steamer, it clearly had the party workers motivated. This was a significant political message coming soon after Vadra was made the party in-charge for eastern Uttar Pradesh. Unfailingly, she sought the blessings of Ganga maiyaa before kicking off her political campaign in the state. On board, she interacted with a group of students and did all the right things for the camera. The reality is markedly different with the Congress having been given the cold shoulder by the SP and BSP, who have struck an alliance to keep the BJP at bay and to try and be politically relevant. For the Congress, the two seats won in 2014 were clinched by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, with the party having just an 8% share of the vote. Clearly, there is a lot more that needs to be done with the Congress last having ruled the state in 1989. While the yatra is an encouraging start, how much of it will translate into an electoral advantage is what matters. That will require many a blessing from Ganga maiyaa.
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