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Congress holds state-wise deliberations in preparation for Lok Sabha polls

The exercise involving states where Assembly polls are not scheduled started with Maharashtra on July 11 followed by Uttarakhand on Thursday.
Last Updated : 13 July 2023, 17:26 IST

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After finishing meetings with leaders of five poll-bound states, Congress central leadership has now started preparations for the Lok Sabha election next year by holding state-wise deliberations where attempts are made to settle discord between leaders and set state-specific campaign plans.

The exercise involving states where Assembly polls are not scheduled started with Maharashtra on July 11 followed by Uttarakhand on Thursday. Leaders from the north-east and Bihar are the next to be called to the national capital for deliberations with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi.

Sources said in-charges and leaders from the north-east, which cumulatively have 25 Lok Sabha seats, have been called for a meeting on Saturday.

At these meetings, the central leadership’s first task is to ensure unity in the faction-ridden state units and make them undertake ‘padayatras’ and campaigns where they could display their “unity” besides taking forward the fight against the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

These were main themes for five poll-bound states too – especially in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana where leaders were at loggerheads.

While Maharashtra leaders are asked to hop to a bus in November-December for a state-wide yatra, those from Uttarakhand will be undertaking ‘padayatra’ across the state on the controversial ‘Agnipath’ military recruitment scheme, which would also see the participation of Rahul and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in batches.

Both Kharge and Rahul have not minced words when it came to intercine wars in the state units. Both have instructed leaders to stand united and decide on campaign themes according to the conditions in their respective states.

While in Maharashtra, a section of leaders are opposed to state chief Nana Patole over his style of functioning, Uttarakhand has factions led by Harish Rawat and others. All faction leaders have been asked to fall in line.

In Maharashtra, sources said, along with national themes, the leaders would also campaign on how the BJP is attempting to weaken the MVA while in Uttarakhand where a large number of youth look to the military for career, its leaders will go to town with their opposition to ‘Agnipath’ scheme, which a section of youth find are opposed to.

In Uttarakhand, Congress will also specifically raise crimes against women.

After the meeting on Thursday, Uttarakhand in-charge Devendra Yadav told reporters that the meeting discussed how to move forward and they got guidance from both Kharge and Rahul.

Uttarakhand Congress president Karan Mahar said the ‘padayatra’ will focus on Agnipath scheme as well crimes against women, including the Ankita murder case.

Congress Legislature Party leader Yashpal Arya said a roadmap for the 2024 election was discussed and the leaders were confident of a better show, as there is a “wind of change” in the state.

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Published 13 July 2023, 12:38 IST

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