Congress plans mega campaign push in last stages of assembly polls
The BJP has used this strategy effectively in state elections post-2014 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a series of public meetings during the last leg of campaigning. The Congress is sending its star campaigners to the poll-bound states in the final stages of electioneering.Updated: Nov 19, 2018 07:14 IST
The Congress is trying to replicate the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s model by deploying its top guns towards the end of campaigning in the five poll-bound states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, and Telangana.
A Congress functionary familiar with the developments said the party has tweaked its strategy to keep its workers energised and ensure that the momentum is maintained right till the end of the campaigning.
The second and last phase of polling in Chhattisgarh will be held on Tuesday, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram go to the polls on November 28. Elections will be held in Rajasthan and Telangana on December 7. The counting of votes will take place on December 11.
The BJP has used this strategy effectively in state elections post-2014 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a series of public meetings during the last leg of campaigning.
Similarly, the Congress is sending its star campaigners to the poll-bound states in the final stages of electioneering. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been campaigning in the four of the five poll-bound states continuously since August. He will be addressing his first election meeting in Mizoram, which is the only state among the poll-bound states where his party is in power, on November 20.
Apart from Manmohan Singh, cricketer-turned-politicians Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mohammad Azharuddin, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, filmstar-turned-politician Raj Babbar, and former actress Nagma are among the Congress’s other star campaigners.
United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who had in May addressed an election rally in Karnataka after staying away from campaigning for almost two years, will canvass in Telangana on November 23. Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh will campaign in the neighbouring districts of Madhya Pradesh as the party is trying to oust the BJP from power in the state after 15 years.
Once the elections are over in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the Congress’s star campaigners will be deployed in Rajasthan and Telangana for campaigning.
Delhi-based political analyst N Bhaskara Rao termed it a good strategy. “It’s a good experiment. It will not only keep the workers charged up till the last minute but also gives the much needed final push to the campaigning,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party rubbished the plan.
“There is a saying in Hindi that nakal ke liye bhi akal chahiye (one needs brain even to copy). The real problem with the Congress is that it has no leader left who can connect with the masses and convince them about the party’s promises. The Congress has more paper tigers than real leaders. Copying the BJP is not going to help them in this election,” said Rajya Sabha MP and BJP’s media head Anil Baluni.
First Published: Nov 19, 2018 07:13 IST