From yatras to shivirs, Baghel replicates his Chhattisgarh mannequin to tackle BJP in Assam
IT IS an uphill battle and the opponent is formidable, however Congress is extra assured than it was three months in the past and is hoping to offer the outgoing BJP a tricky struggle in Assam. For the primary time in current historical past, the celebration tasked its prime ministers with electoral capabilities to show the nook in different states – Bhupesh Baghel from Chhattisgarh in Assam and Ashok Gehlot from Rajasthan in Kerala.
And Baghel, in accordance with sources, reproduces the mannequin of Chhattisgarh in Assam.
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Its three fundamental advisers – Vinod Verma, Ruchir Garg and Rajesh Tiwari – are stationed in Assam, and greater than two dozen groups together with native congressional leaders from Chhattisgarh have been transferred to Assam to supervise electoral efforts. That is along with the marketing campaign already arrange by the AICC towards Jitendra Singh, who is taken into account near Rahul Gandhi.
Assam’s congressional leaders mentioned factionalism in Unity State, which was rampant, had been introduced beneath management, however saved their fingers crossed as handing out tickets had all the time been difficult. “He (Jitendra Singh) took us all to a seashore resort about two months in the past and we sat collectively for a number of hours. His message was very clear. The celebration is not going to display anybody as a candidate for the publish of chief minister. Each chief will get a job on election-related panels, however how we conduct ourselves whereas finishing up our assigned activity will resolve our destiny, ”a senior official advised The Indian Categorical.
It was determined that each one senior leaders ought to undertake simultaneous bus yatras which had been concluded final week. Singh pushed 4 prime Congress leaders – Gaurav Gogoi, Sushmita Dev, Debabrata Saikia and Pradyut Bordoloi – to undertake these yatras. Whereas Bordoloi began in Bordua Satra, the birthplace of Srimanta Sankardev, in Nagaon district, Saikia began the yatra of town of Sivasagar, Gogoi of Guwahati and Sushmita Dev of Silchar.
Along with the Chhattisgarh staff, Singh has delegated 4 members of the AICC board – AICC secretaries Anirudh Singh, Prithviraj Prabhakar Sathe and Vikas Upadhyay and deputy secretary Aditya Sharma – who’re in numerous fields.
The Chhattisgarh groups that reached Assam in January – Baghel was appointed senior observer for the administration and coordination of the marketing campaign within the first week of January – had organized “sankalp shivirs” for stand employees. Occasion leaders say that excluding just a few meeting constituencies within the Bodo area, such shivirs have taken place in any respect seats. The concept, in accordance with sources, was to “load” the employees.
The cadres of Assam had been demoralized. The celebration’s electoral fortunes in Assam haven’t improved since 2014. It may solely win three seats from Lok Sabha in 2014, a document it additionally maintained in 2019. After the collapse of the Meeting elections in 2016 , the celebration couldn’t regroup. The BJP lately made spectacular good points within the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) elections – each in areas the place it had carried out poorly prior to now. The passing of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has additionally left a void as Congress can not boast of a pacesetter who has an identical pan-Assam attraction, acceptability and stature.
However Baghel’s thought of the shivirs – just like that of Chhattisgarh when he was chairman of the CCP – received the employees on the bottom excited. “The identical mannequin was reproduced in Assam. The kiosk stage employees obtained coaching on numerous facets together with distribution of voters lists, voter identification, segregation of floating voters and their focusing on… points to boost and acquiring suggestions, ”mentioned an government.
Congress has carried out a number of inquiries, sources mentioned. “To our shock, we discovered a number of dismay amongst folks in regards to the Citizenship Modification Act banning, in fact, within the Barack Valley. There was a excessive stage of discontent among the many tea backyard employees. Issues comparable to unemployment and rising costs had been additionally current, ”mentioned one government. The celebration subsequently determined to focus extra on Higher Assam and take a stand on the CAA.
“In most constituencies, a staff from Chhattisgarh will oversee the marketing campaign, together with facets comparable to graffiti on the partitions, distribution of promoting materials,” mentioned one chief.
The alliance with the AIUDF, among the congressional leaders feared a backfire. However congressional strategists say this is probably not the case, and the “mahajath” was fashioned to make it appear to be the opposition can present a viable different. “There may be discontent. However it may be reaped if voters imagine there’s a credible different, ”mentioned one strategist. The inclusion of the Bodoland Standard Entrance (BPF) within the congressional-led alliance, after severing its ties with the BJP, got here like a bullet within the arm. Congress hopes the BPF would assist shift the votes in direction of the alliance within the Bodoland territorial area, which has round 15 seats within the Meeting.
In Higher Assam, the celebration is making an attempt to regain misplaced floor. The celebration suffered a setback when former minister and MP for Golaghat Ajanta Neog and MP for Lakhipur Rajdeep Gowala joined the BJP in December. “Possibly they’re gone. However the employees didn’t go along with them. The framework of the Congress remains to be there. Their launch will subsequently not have an effect on us a lot, ”mentioned Upadhyay, who’s stationed in Higher Assam.
Occasion leaders mentioned the choice to convey Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to the Higher Assam and North Shore areas was aimed toward repairing the injury and exhibiting the celebration is critical in its electoral efforts. Rahul Gandhi had additionally visited Higher Assam. “The tribals and the tea backyard employees are all the time linked with Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Priyanka’s go to was aimed toward harnessing this recall worth, ”mentioned one government.
“It is nonetheless a tricky struggle, however we imagine the state of affairs has improved from the place it was three or 4 months in the past,” mentioned a prime congressional chief. In 2016, the BJP had received 60 seats whereas the allies BPF and AGP had received 12 and 14, respectively. Congress was lowered to 26 whereas AIUDF received 13. BJP’s share of the vote was 29.5%, AGP 8.1% and BPF 3.9%. Congress received a 30.9% share of the vote, up from 39% in earlier Meeting elections. The AIUDF managed a 13.05% voting share.