Has Congress Abandoned Gujarat???

Prime Minister Modi said not to be fooled by the lack of Congress presence in the Gujarat countryside, they adopted a new strategy of going door to door and influencing the minds of people.

Consider these two statements made during the Gujarat Assembly election campaign:

On the one hand, AAP leader Kejriwal in Gujarat claimed that the Congress is over in Gujarat. He even asked people not to vote for Congress saying that their vote would be in vain and help the BJP return to power. On the other hand, Prime Minister Modi said that one should not be fooled by the lack of Congress presence during the campaign in Gujarat. They adopted a new strategy of going door-to-door and influencing minds.

The two statements are rather contradictory. If Congress is over as Kejriwal claims then what Prime Minister Modi said may not be true and if what Prime Minister Modi says is true then what Kejriwal says about the end of Congress is wrong.

One thing is for sure, Congress has left everyone guessing. With the state heading to the polls just a month away, Congress seems virtually absent. On the one hand, the newcomer AAP is putting all its power, even as Delhi is facing the air emergency, the CM who is also the head of the AAP is on a tour in Gujarat with his counterpart from Punjab. On the other, the BJP has launched campaign rallies by its star pracharaks: PM Modi and Amit Shah. Prime Minister Modi recently laid the groundwork for many projects in the state ahead of the announcement of the polls. But you see that neither the star pracharaks nor the major congressional activities made it into the news or the headlines. Many say Congress seems to have abandoned Gujarat and say it has given free rein to the AAP.

And the opinion polls we talked about earlier today suggest the same thing. So what is Congress doing? Has he renounced Gujarat? Or does the party have a strategy up its sleeves? As far as we know, the party may have adopted the “silent campaign” strategy for the Gujarat assembly elections.

Gujarat is a high stakes state for the BJP as it has never lost an election here in the last 27 years and it is a home state of Prime Minister Modi. Losing here means losing territory. But even so, Congress gave the BJP a hard time in 2017. The aggressive campaign led by Rahul Gandhi himself made it a neck and neck contest and ensured that the party did not let the BJP down. . And it worked, the BJP went down to 99 and the Congress won 77 seats.

However, this time neither Rahul Gandhi nor any hard campaign is being waged by the party. Gandhi is actually busy with Bharat Jodo Yatra. He stayed away from any questions about the polls. And without a strong leader present to drive the campaign, Congress is like a headless chicken in the state.

But Raghu Sharma, Gujarat official of the Congress, has a different story. He says the party this time isn’t focused on mega-gatherings or flashy events, but rather on building a booth-level presence. And the party continues to do substantive work in the state. He believes the party will form the state government by winning over 125 seats. That seems like a very bold statement looking at what the opinion polls are predicting.

However, the party claims to have adopted a silent campaign strategy this time around. This means that unlike the high voltage campaigns last time around, it focuses more on ground level activation. It is said to have all started in February 2022 when the Rahul Gandhi addressed the Chintan Shivir of the state level party in Dwarka. It was a three-day brainstorming session at the end of which Congress came up with a strategy: to focus more on door-to-door campaigning and kiosk management and raise local issues. . The message from him was: “Go to the masses with a vision”.

The idea here is not to play on the playing field defined by the BJP but to adopt the Congress’ own strategy which the BJP will find difficult to counter. And Rahul Gandhi not being involved in the campaign in Gujarat could be part of this strategy. Congress may want to make this an election on local issues, on unemployment, response to Covid-19 and Gujrat issues, business community issues, rising inflation, paper leaks , public infrastructure, etc. time, the Congress vs BJP contest has led to national issues taking center stage. Hindutva-Soft Hindutva issues, national security became the focus. The presence of Gandhis or any other star pracharak could lead to the same this time around. It could make the election Modi against Rahul and the Congress might have wanted to avoid that. For any election that goes to the face of PM Modi, the opposition is most likely to lose.

Also read: Watch: Rahul Gandhi plays football during Bharat Jodo Yatra

So, as part of this silent campaign, the Congress has launched partivartan yatra where it organizes short constituencies, road shows at stands and organizes public meetings. Congress began five yatras (steps) in Gujarat. They will cover 175 assembly seats over 5,432 km. During these yatrasCongress plans to implement its “carpet-bombing leaders” strategy, in which top party leaders will speak at 145 mega-town halls and 95 rallies.

In fact, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, who played a major role in the 2017 campaign, visited Ahmedabad and the bordering district of Rajasthan and Gujarat. He was even in Morbi after the suspension bridge collapse accident. Apart from him, former MP CM Digvijaya Singh also alternates between Bharat Jodo Yatra campaign and Gujarat campaign.

Well, many people were still wondering why Rahul Gandhi couldn’t lead Bharat Jodo Yatra through Gujarat. The Congress claims that this yatra route runs from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, from south to north. They couldn’t fit Gujarat into this route, but they are planning a west to east rally next year. However, the elections in Gujarat would then be over. In this case, it gives the impression that Congress may not care much about state elections and is focused on building momentum for the 2024 national elections.

The question is whether the Congress strategy in Gujarat will work or will it give free rein to the BJP and the AAP? What do you think of that?

Dear readers,
As an independent media platform, we do not take advertisements from governments and corporations. It is you, our readers, who have supported us on our journey to honest and unbiased journalism. Please contribute, so we can continue to do the same in the future.