Congress looks to pocket poll-bound Karnataka; But will the party be able to do that?

Rahul Gandhi is confident that the Congress will win the Karnataka Assembly elections with a clear majority

Assembly elections are due in Karnataka next year, and the Congress party has begun working towards pocketing a major chunk of the people’s support in the southern state. The recent Assembly polls held in five states had been a major disaster for the grand old party. The embarrassing defeats, obviously, have set in motion a serious effort towards redeeming its lost glory.

 Setting the ball rolling in this bid, the senior leader and former president of the Congress party Rahul Gandhi has called upon the party leader in Karnataka to work as a team and set a goal of winning 150 seats in the Assembly elections scheduled for next year.

The Congress is desperate for a win and Karnataka is the best opportunity the party can currently look for. Going by what Rahul thinks, Karnataka has a ‘spirit of Congress’ and is a ‘natural Congress State’. That itself would call for at least 150 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the former party chief opined.  According to him, the party in Karnataka needs to fight united on right issues and with merit as criteria.

Youth, women focus for Congress

The Congress would look at an added focus on the youth and women in the upcoming election in Karnataka. That would also mean that poll tickets would also go to an added number of young men and women. The former president will also want the party to entrust more responsibility on senior leaders such as Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, and Mallikarjun Kharge to put the cadre in order and put up a fight so that the Congress will be able to send at least 150 MLAs to the Karnataka Assembly.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has had a great run in Karnataka for the past few years, though squabbles had crept in with regular frequency. However, going by the way the party would stand together when it comes to the election fight, it would mean that the Congress will have to work hard. Though Rahul Gandhi swears by the ‘natural Congress state’ and expects to win, it remains to be seen how far the party would be able to do that.

Rahul is of the opinion that Congress will win with clear majority, and form a government that works for the poor, small traders and all sections of the society. Employment could come up as a major plank this time around as the BJP has been faltering in that front.  

Jobs, corruption major poll planks

Alleging that the BJP has failed to generate jobs as they have destroyed small and medium industries, Rahul Gandhi wanted his party leaders to focus on that front too. The party would be able to do better only if the leader would be able to convince the youth of Karnataka that they will be able to find jobs only if the Congress assumes power in the state. Yet another plan the Congress would look at climbing on would be the corruption issue, and the party believe that the BJP government in Karnataka has been among the most corrupt.

All these are Rahul Gandhi’s dreams. To make these dreams come alive, it would need a party that is willing to stand united and fight an important election. The 2018 Assembly elections in Karnataka saw the Congress ending up with just 80 seats of the total 224. Whether the party would be able to keep its leaders together and manage a majority is a question that Rahul will have to answer.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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