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After MP bypoll win, Congress says will intensify campaign at grassroots level

The Congress state leadership is likely to meet in the next few days to finalise future plans, even as state spokesperson KK Mishra said the party was ‘chalking out a calendar to launch movements against the government’.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2018 08:21 IST
Ranjan
Ranjan
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
MP bypoll victory,Bharatiya Janata Party government,Madhya Pradesh bypolls
Congress workers celebrate the win in Kolaras and Mungaoli by-elections in Bhopal on Wednesday. Party leaders said the victories have galvanised the Congress as they have exposed chinks in the BJP.(PTI File Photo)

The Congress is planning a major campaign to expose the “false propaganda” of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Madhya Pradesh, as the opposition party looks to carry the momentum from victories in two bypolls to the assembly elections slated this year.

On Wednesday, the Congress won the bypolls to Kolaras and Mungaoli, months after similar victories in Chitrakoot and Ater, the first time the party has won four seats back-to-back since it was dislodged from power in 2003.

The Congress state leadership is likely to meet in the next few days to finalise future plans, even as state spokesperson KK Mishra said the party was “chalking out a calendar to launch movements against the government”.

“We will not allow the government to take advantage of its misleading propaganda ahead of polls, and expose it before people,” he added.

Congress leaders said Wednesday’s victories have galvanised the party as they have exposed chinks in the BJP.

In more than 14 years since the BJP came to power, after dislodging the Digvijaya Singh-led Congress government, there were bypolls to 29 assembly constituencies, including Kolaras and Mungaoli.

The BJP won in 19 bypolls, while Congress in nine and Samajwadi Party in one.

A section of party leaders believes the 2018 elections will be a now-or-never case for the Congress, which has faced severe poll drubbings in several states.

“In 2008 and 2013 (assembly polls), we were defensive and the ruling party or in other words the government was in the offensive. But this time the picture is just reverse. Our confidence that ‘we can really win’ is major difference this time,” said a senior party leader seeking anonymity.

“When we hit the ground running, the ruling party will be further defensive and disgruntled forces in the BJP who are fed up with their own party’s government are definitely going to add to the anti-government atmosphere,” the leader added.

According to the leader, the party is likely to adopt the aggressive campaign style of Gujarat where the Congress managed to put up a stiff challenge to the ruling BJP which managed to retain power in the assembly last year.

State leaders and workers are also waiting for the central leadership’s decision on what kind of a role is assigned to Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Guna MP, who is credited with the party’s recent victories.

State Congress affairs in charge Deepak Babaria said, “We will bring in commitment of people and workers with us. We will sharpen our campaign and improve grassroots connectivity.”

However, the party was also stressing on selecting the right candidate.

“We will be more careful in candidate selection,” said Babaria.

When asked if the party’s putting a condition in candidate selection about Rs 50,000 to be deposited by a ticket-seeker, Babaria said it would be no bar and the amount would be waived off if any candidate was good but didn’t have the resources.

First Published: Mar 02, 2018 07:48 IST