Cong aims to beat BJP at their game in Gujarat

Cong aims to beat BJP at their game in Gujarat

In the much-hyped Gujarat Assembly elections, the Congress wants to beat the BJP at its own game – candidate selection.

Aware of the fact that faulty selection of candidates have cost it the previous Assembly elections, the Congress is treading with caution and even confronting ticket seekers to prove their grass-roots connect by testing their popularity at the booth-level.

"We have our team, mostly comprising persons from other states, deployed at the booth-level to assess the political situation. It takes us no time to find out which aspirant is bluffing about his popularity," a Congress leader  from Gujarat election told DH.

He said there have been clear instructions from Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on making winnability the sole criteria for selection of candidates. Also, selection of candidates has been left completely to the state unit to minimise lobbying by ticket aspirants with central leaders of the party.

The BJP is known for its meticulous strategising ahead of every election with party president Amit Shah taking personal interest in reaching out to the booth-level through regular meetings.

The first meeting of the Central Election Committee was chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday and the instructions were clear -   get only single name for approval and not a panel of three as was the case earlier.

As many as 75 candidates for the two-phased Assembly election were finalised but the announcement was delayed by a week to ensure that rivals get little time to poach disgruntled leaders.

There are at least 60 seats which the Congress lost by margin of 100 votes to 5,000 votes and these seats have got special attention. The Congress is elated at the Shiv Sena's decision to contest the Gujarat elections.

"Even if their candidates polls 1,000 votes , they will be eating into the BJP's votes," the leader said, adding that the Congress was trying to forge the widest possible pre-electoral understanding to ensure victory in the polls. He said Rahul's visits to Gujarat have energised the cadre and there was a rare desire among the cadre to give Modi a good fight in his home state.

 

 

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