New Delhi, April 03, 2017: The Delhi Congress on Monday said it is looking at a straight contest with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming civic body polls, and not with the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
“I think our fight is with the BJP, not the AAP. Woh (BJP) abhi josh me hain (They are high on power). On the other hand, the AAP has been exposed. The Punjab and Goa results are for all to see,” senior Delhi Congress leader and former Speaker of Delhi Assembly Subhash Chopra told IANS.
Asked about a few Congress leaders quitting the party and a few other seniors threatening to do so, Chopra said that although there is “some resentment”, true Congressmen would not desert the party.
“Of course, there is some resentment in the party. And that is natural because there were 10-12 aspirants for each seat, but the ticket could be given to only one.
“Those who did not get tickets, or senior leaders whose choice candidates were not given ticket are bound to be somewhat unhappy. But that does not mean they are quitting the party,” Chopra said.
He said that Ashok Kumar Walia “did not even once” speak of quitting the Congress, and that words were put into Walia’s mouth.
“I have spoken to him just now and he said that he did not say anything to that effect,” Chopra said.
He said that Amrish Gautam quit the party because his son was not given a ticket.
“Quitting your party because your son was not given a ticket? A true Congressman would never do that,” he said.
Chopra said that a transparent method of ticket distribution was adopted this time around.
“Candidate’s winnability and workers’ choice were the criteria (for giving tickets). As many as 39,000 Congress workers were contacted over telephone before making a final choice,” he said. IANS
In order to regain dominance in the country, the Congress is mulling using the tribal card. This plan of action is to be first implemented in Chhattisgarh.
Riding on the success of the Assembly and urban body elections, the Congress feels that it can increase it base through tribals as they constitute 8 per cent of the total population.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first three Assembly elections in the state, after its formation in 2000, recorded huge victories and came to power. But after the Assembly elections held last year, the scenario changed. After registering a victory in the Assembly elections and then in the urban body polls, the Congress showed that it still dominates the tribal areas.
The Congress gave the responsibility of the tribal areas to the tribal leader of Madhya Pradesh Umang Singhar which eventually helped the party. Now, the party is planning to spread out nationwide through Chhattisgarh.
Former party president Rahul Gandhi, while inaugurating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur, gave a message to the tribals who are here to participate in the festival that the Chhattisgarh government is working for all the sections and this is the reason why there has been a downward trend in naxal attacks and the state economy has also improved.
The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country because the tribal population in the state is 32 per cent.
BJP media panellist Sandeep Sharma, however, claims that the party’s base has not shrunk. He said till Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were not divided, the Congress was strong in the area but in the elections held after three years of the bifurcation, the BJP won the Assembly elections and was in power for 15 years. Though we faced defeat in the 2018 elections, the only reason was that people wanted a change but they were not angry with the BJP, he claimed.
The BJP won in the Lok Sabha elections and the margin in the urban body elections was also not much. So, it would be inappropriate to say that the BJP’s base has shrunk, he said adding that in one year the Congress’ base has declined by 9 per cent whereas in Assembly elections it got 12 per cent more votes and in urban body elections the margin was 3 per cent.
Analysing the political landscape of the state, political analyst Rudra Awasthi said, “When it was Madhya Pradesh then the Congress had stronghold in Chhattisgarh. Several big leaders were also from the state but after the formation of Chhattisgarh since Ajit Jogi was accused of being a fake tribal the Congress lost its stronghold over the tribals. Though it continued to dominate in some of the areas which helped it in regaining the power.
“As of now, the Congress has started including the tribals with the backward class. First Bhupesh Baghel was the state chief of the party and he was replaced by Mohan Markam as he became the Chief Minister. During the Assembly elections, the Congress talked about the identity of the tribals which helped the party. After winning the elections, the decisions of the Congress government were in favour of the tribals which helped the party in the urban body elections,” said Awasthi.
The Congress is mulling over spreading its message to the tribals across the country through the three-day festival going on here. For this several senior leaders of the party will attend the festival and share the government’s schemes while giving the message that the Congress government in the state has brought a positive and a significant change in the lives of the tribals. (IANS)