caste, regional influence and qualifications. Keshav Prasad Maurya, Baby Rani Maurya and Brijesh Pathak are in the list of probables being considered for the post of Deputy CM.
Meanwhile, according to a post-poll survey, development and government functioning were among the top priorities for voters in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections while the Ram temple and Hindutva did not weigh much in the minds of people while exercising their franchise. The study said the net satisfaction with the Narendra Modi government at the Centre was three times higher than that of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, indicating the Modi magic helped the BJP return to power for the second consecutive term.
The Lokniti-CSDS poll survey also points to a new group of beneficiaries of welfare schemes such as Kisan Samman Nidhi, Ujjwala Scheme, PM Awas Yojna and free ration rooting for the ruling coalition, irrespective of caste and religious considerations. Another important fact that emerged in the comprehensive data collection was that allaying all pre-poll apprehensions, the BJP got more support among farmers, Brahmins, and also increased its outreach among Scheduled Castes, even among Mayawati’s core vote bank Jatavs. The BJP-led coalition broke over three decades old record by getting re-elected for a second consecutive time in UP under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
In other news, the Congress Working Committee will meet on Sunday to discuss the outcome of the assembly elections in five states where the party received a drubbing, sources said. Congress president Sonia Gandhi will chair the meeting of the party’s top decision-making body at its headquarters here at 4 PM on Sunday, they said. The Congress lost Punjab to the AAP and could not win any of the four other states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The Congress could manage to win only two of the 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, with a vote share of only a meagre 2.33 per cent, and most of its candidates lost their security deposits. This despite a high-pitched campaign led by AICC general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who focussed her campaign around women and the youth.
Sunday’s meeting is likely to see some fireworks as the G-23 leaders had suggested corrective measures after the previous round of assembly polls, when the Congress lost Puducherry and failed to make a mark in Kerala, Assam and West Bengal, but there had been little movement on that front. The leaders of G-23, who have been demanding an organisational overhaul, had met on Friday evening at the residence of senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to evolve their strategy ahead of the crucial CWC meeting.
Azad and senior leader Anand Sharma are the two leaders of the group who are part of the CWC. Mukul Wasnik, also a member of the CWC, had initially signed a letter from the group to Gandhi but has since kept his distance. The ‘Group of 23’, at their Friday evening meeting, expressed shock at the party’s defeat. Sources said the leaders discussed the way forward and steps for the revival of the Congress which has become even “more marginalised, weakened and isolated”.
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