Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra Faces Uphill Battle As It Sets To Enter Uttar Pradesh

Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra Faces Uphill Battle As It Sets To Enter Uttar Pradesh

The significance of this leg of the yatra lies in the historical electoral trends of the districts it encompasses.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 07:50 PM IST
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaks at a public meeting during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in Aurangabad district, Thursday, February 15, 2024. |

Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra is set to arrive in Chandauli on February 16, marking a crucial juncture in the Congress leader's journey through the heartland of Uttar Pradesh. As the yatra traverses through Chandauli and onwards to Lucknow, it faces the daunting task of reinvigorating the Congress party's support base in a region where its influence has waned over the past four decades.

The significance of this leg of the yatra lies in the historical electoral trends of the districts it encompasses. Of the 21 Lok Sabha seats surrounding the route from Chandauli to Lucknow, Congress has struggled to secure victory in approximately 80 percent of them for the past 40 years.

Congress' woes in Chandauli and Varanasi

Chandauli, flanked by the Ghazipur and Robertsganj Lok Sabha seats, serves as a microcosm of Congress' electoral challenges in the region. Congress last clinched victory in Chandauli in 1984, with subsequent elections seeing a rotation of power among various parties, yet eluding Congress.

As the Wayanad MP's yatra progresses towards Varanasi, the electoral stronghold of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, memories of Congress' triumph in 2004 resurface. However, since then, Congress has struggled to reclaim its foothold in Varanasi, as well as in Jaunpur and Machhilishahr, where its last victories date back to 1984.

Grand old party struggles in reversing its electoral decline

The challenges persist as the yatra moves through Bhadohi, Allahabad, and Phulpur, where Congress' electoral fortunes have dwindled since the mid-1980s. Despite sporadic successes in the past, notably in Pratapgarh in 2009 and Rae Bareli in 2019, Congress grapples with the task of reversing its electoral decline in these constituencies.

Rae Bareli remains a solitary beacon of hope for Congress in the region, with the party retaining its grip on the seat since 1999. However, the party's fortunes elsewhere in adjacent seats like Fatehpur, Sultanpur, and Faizabad have dwindled since 1984, reflecting the broader challenges confronting Congress in Uttar Pradesh.

The yatra's trajectory underscores Congress' formidable task of revitalising its support base in the face of entrenched electoral dynamics. As it navigates through Lucknow, Barabanki, Sitapur, and Hardoi, the party confronts its weaknesses in constituencies where victory has remained elusive for decades.

In Lucknow and Mohanlalganj, Congress' last triumphs date back to 1984, echoing a broader trend of electoral setbacks across the region. With the Barabanki seat slipping from its grasp in 2009, Congress faces an uphill battle in reclaiming lost ground in key constituencies like Sitapur and Hardoi.

As Rahul Gandhi's yatra advances amid formidable electoral challenges, the journey ahead remains fraught with uncertainties. The success of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra hinges on the party's ability to connect with voters and rejuvenate its organizational strength in Uttar Pradesh's fiercely contested political landscape.

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