Cong bigwigs to campaign in civic polls

R'than unit hopes to repeat Assembly by-election results

Struggling to make a decent comeback in Rajasthan, senior leaders in Congress for the first time will be campaigning in the local body elections.

While the decision is seen as a desperate move, party office bearers feel that the party won the recent Assembly by-polls due to joint efforts of senior leaders and the same strategy can help them win the civic polls as well.

“Top leadership has decided to use state-level leaders in these polls. Winning the local body elections is crucial as it can bring back the old prestige and revive the party among the masses,” said a senior Congress leader.
Sources said senior leaders like former state chief Dr Chandrabhan, former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Girija Vyas, PCC chief Sachin Pilot and many others will play a key role in these polls. Besides campaigning, senior leaders have also been entrusted with important responsibilities.

“In the big municipal corporations like Jaipur and Jodhpur, all responsibilities right from ticket distribution to campaigning has been given to former state presidents Girija Vyas and Dr Chandrabhan respectively,” said a senior party leader.

“Former cabinet ministers and party officer bearers have been deputed for election management in various municipal districts and towns,” the leader added.

A detailed campaigning schedule of senior leaders like Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot is also being chalked out.

“Visits of Pilot, Gehlot and other leaders are being worked out. Leaders will be sent for campaign according to needs of candidate and considering the caste combination of voters,” said Archana Sharma, Congress spokesperson.

After the defeat in 2013 Assembly election, the party managed to win three out of four seats in the Assembly by-polls that concluded almost a month back. Collective efforts by senior leaders are seen as a main reason behind the success.

The party now wants to follow the same strategy in the civic polls.

“Generally the state-level leaders do not campaign in civic polls. But considering the result of the last by-polls, the party wants to tread the same path to continue its winning spree,” said a senior leader.

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