Cash crunch forces Congress to canvass old style

Lack of funds forces party to shun big rallies and campaign door-to-door like the earlier days

Indian National Congress flag. (Getty images)

Facing a shortage of funds, the Congress has tweaked its campaign strategy by keeping the focus on door-to-door campaign as against big public meetings.

This was revealed by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in an interaction with DH in his hometown here.

"What you say as absence of big leaders from the campaign across the state is actually a strategy. We have decided to strengthen our strongholds," Chavan said claiming that the move had been fruitful.

Top leaders of the Congress such as Chavan, former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat have been confined to their assembly segments of Nanded, Karad and Sangamner respectively.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressed five public meetings in Maharashtra two in Mumbai and one each in Latur, Yavatmal and Wardha.

Though the Congress-NCP is contesting the election together, the leaders of the two parties have not addressed a joint rally. Neither do they have any plans to do so as campaigning ends on Saturday.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has stayed away from the campaign trail in both Maharashtra and Haryana due to indifferent health and AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has not paid any heed to requests from leadership of both states to take part in the campaign.

A senior Congress functionary said organising big rallies puts a strain on resources and disrupts the pace of the door-to-door campaign, which will be the focus of the party in the last lap of campaigning for the October 21 election.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have been campaigning extensively across the state since the declaration of elections last month.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar has emerged as the opposition face in the campaign given his extensive travel across the state.

However, NCP's handicap is the absence of strong faces in the state as several of its leaders have quit the party to join the BJP or Shiv Sena.

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