By Anand Singh
New Delhi, June 18 : As the Congress is preparing to make a comeback in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections scheduled later this year, the grand old party is going all out to keep its flock together ahead of the mega battle.
The party is also focusing on the guarantees, that proved a boon for it in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, to connect with the people in Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress kicked off its poll campaign in the state on June 12, when party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressed a public meeting in Jabalpur.
While addressing the people of the state, Priyanka Gandhi announced five promises on the lines of Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, where Congress won in the assembly elections.
A Congress leader, wishing not to be named, said that the guarantees of the party had worked in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, where it won recently and the party also ensured to fulfil the promises soon after coming to power, thus it is giving a clear message to the voters that these are not mere promises but they are also being delivered on the ground.
The party leader also cited the example of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where it also fulfilled the promises it made to the people in run-up to the election.
“Thus the promises of fulfiling the guarantees is working for the party and we are hopeful that it will once again work in Madhya Pradesh,” he said.
When asked if former Chief Minister Kamal Nath, veteran party leader Digvijay Singh gelling well in the state, the party leader said, “Both the leaders have decided to keep their personal ambitions at bay to ensure that the party comes to power this year.”
He said that while Kamal Nath, who is also the state unit chief of the party, is focusing on districts, Digivijay Singh is focusing on assembly levels and is mobilising the cadres there.
The party leader also said that the understanding between the two leaders is helping the Congress to gain ground in the rural areas, including the stronghold areas of the BJP.
The party leader also said that the divided houses of the BJP and many factions emerging there, are also helping the grand old party in the state to gain grounds ahead of the assembly polls.
He said that it is factionalism in the BJP, which is leading to exodus of several leaders from the ruling party in the state including Baijnath Yadav, who had left the Congress in March 2020 along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, but made a comeback in the grand old party earlier this week.
Scindia had led a revolt in the Congress as he along with 22 of his loyal MLAs deserted the party and joined the BJP, thus bringing down the 15-month old Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the state.
The party leader said, “The Congress has learnt from its past mistakes. And thus this time, the party leadership is ensuring that there are no desertions ahead of the mega battle later this year.”
Another party leader, meanwhile, said that the Congress has also started working on the candidate selection from now and is screening the performance of the sitting MLAs as well as shortlisting candidates for the elections.
“The screening process of the party will help it to ensure that the candidates are selected on the basis of winnability in their respective assembly constituencies,” he said.
The party leader also said that the involvement of Congress strategist Sunil Kanugolu, who played a crucial role in designing the campaign in the state of Karnataka, will also help the party in Madhya Pradesh to design its campaign as well as coin the slogan to target the ruling BJP in the state.
It is worth mentioning that Kanugolu had managed the Congress campaign in Karnataka and the party’s guarantees and the campaigns to target the BJP connected with the people there.
“We are hoping that Kanugolu once again weaves his magic in the party’s campaigning this time in Madhya Pradesh,” he said.
He further said that the team of Kanugolu has started working in the state and soon they will come up with the campaigns to target the alleged corruption in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government in the state and also prepare the campaign on the failures of the state government under the BJP.
The party leader said that the Congress campaign will also focus on farmers, where it will highlight the misdeeds of the BJP government and how it failed to fulfil the promises and how their condition remained unchanged under its government.
The polling for the 230-member-Madhya Pradesh assembly will be held in November or December this year, where the Congress is looking to make a comeback.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)