Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in all addressed ten elections meetings in Maharashtra and Haryana as part of the deliberate strategy not to make the state polls a direct contest between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Congress managers were well aware of the huge anti-incumbency against the party in both the states and accordingly decided to make Rahul’s campaign a low key affair.
While he addressed six rallies in Maharashtra, the number stood at four in Haryana.
“Things didn’t look bright for us in these elections. So, the campaign of top leaders was limited to just few meetings,” a senior functionary said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi too didn’t go all out in these elections as she addressed four rallies in Maharashtra and three in Haryana while former PM Manmohan Singh skipped the campaign in both the states.
Congress sources said this strategy would be replicated in all future state polls.
‘The idea is to approach state elections differently from Lok Sabha polls,” another leader said.
In the absence of charismatic leaders, the Congress banks solely on the mass appeal of the Gandhi family to boost the morale of its workers in any elections. The failure of the second rung of leadership to effectively connect with the people has also put the entire burden on the Gandhi family.
A section in the party had argued that any move to push Rahul in direct confrontation against Modi in these elections will not yield the desired results at a time when the dice is heavily loaded against the Congress.