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UP Election 2022: Etawah, once a stronghold, now a lost cause for Congress

As the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election, 2022 is underway, one would be surprised to know that the script for the birth of Congress was written in Etawah before independence. One would be surprised to know that the country's oldest party has not won here for the previous 37 years. 

UP Election 2022 Etawah once a stronghold now a lost cause for Congress gcw
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Lucknow, First Published Feb 17, 2022, 3:45 PM IST

As the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election, 2022 is underway, one would be surprised to know that the script for the birth of Congress was written in Etawah before independence. One would be surprised to know that the country's oldest party has not won here for the previous 37 years.  Before independence, AO Huyam, the collector here, drew the framework for the formation of Congress while residing in Etawah. After 1985, the Congress party did not win a single assembly seat in the Etawah district.

In the election that started in 1957, Congress started its victory journey from Bharthana seat. However, the party lost from Etawah and Jaswantnagar. In 1962, Hilal Agarwal of Congress won from Etawah seat. 

In 1967, Congress did not get any seats in all three assemblies, whereas in 1969, Congress captured all three seats. Even in 1974, Congress successfully won the Etawah seat, but in 1977, Congress again suffered a setback. In this period, Congress had fielded candidates on all three seats, but all the candidates were defeated in the wave of protest against the Emergency.

Congress made a strong return in 1980, capturing all three seats. Sukhda Mishra of Etawah, Gorelal Shakya of Bharthana, and Balram Singh Yadav of Jaswantnagar were victorious. The Congress's graph may have fluctuated in the assembly elections conducted from 1985 to 2012, but the party has been fielding candidates, but the Congress has not tasted the taste of triumph. Even after this, the number of persons seeking a seat in Congress has not decreased. The number of ticket buyers is presently about a dozen. So far, Sukhda Mishra is the only Congress MLA from the Sadar constituency. She was elected in 1985.

In the 2012 elections, the Congress fielded Komal Singh Kushwaha from the Etawah Sadar seat, which received 12543 votes; however, owing to the SP-Congress alliance, the candidate was not fielded from this seat in 2017.

Political observers feel that Congress is now unlikely to return in this area. According to political analyst Rupesh Mishra, "the screenplay for the foundation of the Congress may have been written from Etawah, but it has now become a bastion of the Mulayam family." It will be extremely difficult for Congress to reclaim its lost ground here in such a circumstance. According to Mishra, the caste vote bank in this area also favours the SP.

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