The Congress is putting its best foot forward in Jharkhand(Reuters)
The Congress is putting its best foot forward in Jharkhand(Reuters)

Jharkhand assembly election 2019: Congress puts best foot forward in Jharkhand

The party has formulated a separate strategy for each phase of the elections and is accordingly changing its list of star campaigners, said a Congress functionary involved in election management in the tribal-dominated state.
By Aurangzeb Naqshbandi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 28, 2019 06:10 AM IST

After its lackadaisical attitude in Maharashtra and Haryana, the Congress is putting its best foot forward in Jharkhand, drawing up an elaborate campaign strategy and ensuring its alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) remains strong on the ground.

The party has formulated a separate strategy for each phase of the elections and is accordingly changing its list of star campaigners, said a Congress functionary involved in election management in the tribal-dominated state.

The polling for the 81-member Jharkhand assembly will be held in five phases, starting from November 30 and concluding on December 20. The results will be declared on December 23.

Under their pre-poll agreement, the Congress is contesting 31 seats, the JMM 43 seats and the RJD seven.

In the first list of star campaigners, the name of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was missing because she was not available on the requested dates. Her name was included in the second list after she agreed to campaign for the party, the functionary quoted above said.

While Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s election tour programme was yet to be finalised, her son Rahul Gandhi will open his Jharkhand campaign with an election rally at Simdega on December 2.

Similarly, the name of Youth Congress president Srinivas BV was included in the second list following a demand from a section of the young leaders in the state.

“This is perhaps the first time that we are changing the list of star campaigners in every phase in any state election,” another Congress leader said. “We are also holding joint rallies and also campaigning together in several constituencies to send a strong message of alliance unity among the workers at the ground level. This did not happen in the past or even in the recent Lok Sabha elections,” he added.

Playing second fiddle to the JMM, the Congress got a shot in the arm from the dramatic turn of political events in Maharashtra where the grand old party for the first time rode piggyback on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to register an unexpected win in 44 seats and ended up being a part of an alliance led by the Shiv Sena that is set to assume office on Thursday.

The developments in Maharashtra have boosted the morale of the Congress workers in Jharkhand. The party suddenly fancies its chances and as a resulted is trying to pep up its campaign despite facing desertions at the top.

Three of its former state presidents -- Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu, Sukhdeo Bhagat and Ajoy Kumar – had resigned from the Congress in the run-up to the elections.

While Balmuchu shifted to the All Jharkhand Students Union or AJSU Party, Bhagat and Kumar joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) respectively.

The BJP and the AJSU Party could not come to an understanding and are fighting the upcoming assembly elections separately.

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