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    UP Elections 2012: Congress works overtime in Avadh


    Congress had led in 19 assembly segments in 2009, polling an impressive 26.2% votes, which was marginally more than that of the SP.

    ET Bureau
    NEW DELHI: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will arrive in Pratapgarh on Monday to address an election rally in the region which aided the party to post an impressive tally in the Lok Sabha polls of 2009. Pratapgarh is among the 11 districts that will go to polls in the fourth round on February 19. As many as 56 assembly segments, spread across Avadh and a part of Bundelkhand, will test the voters' reflexes during this phase.

    That the region is crucial to Congress' political project in the state could be evident from the galaxy of star speakers lined up by the party's strategists to woo voters in the 11 districts. While Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited Unnao on Wednesday, her daughter Priyanka has already made three trips to Rae Bareli to shore up prospects of Congress candidates in the 10 assembly segments falling in the family pocket-borough of Rae Bareli-Amethi.

    In the 2009 general election, Congress had bagged five Lok Sabha seats from the region. They include Pratapgarh, Unnao and Farukkhabad, besides Amethi and Rae Bareli. It had also emerged victorious in neighbouring Sultanpur, which faces assembly elections during the third phase.

    Congress had led in 19 assembly segments in 2009, polling an impressive 26.2% votes, which was marginally more than that of the Samajwadi Party, which had seen a surge in 25 assembly segments.

    In the 2007 assembly elections, it was BSP which had led the pack from the region, winning 17 seats, with a vote-share of 30.2%. SP and BJP had bagged 16 and 15 seats, respectively. Congress' surge in 2009 was made possible by the support extended by large chunks of the upper castes, Muslims and non-Yadav backwards.

    While Muslims expressed their anger with SP for its decision to embrace former chief minister Kalyan Singh, the hero of the Ayodhya movement, by voting for Congress candidates in large numbers, the upper castes veered away from BSP.

    The fact that the Gandhi family citadel of Rae Bareli-Amethi will face elections during the fourth phase is also expected to act as a pull-factor.

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    AHMED3307 days ago
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