Campaigning for the 2019 Maharashtra assembly polls is going on in full swing. BJP–Shiv Sena are making every effort to attract voters. NCP President Sharad Pawar’s rally is getting good response from public. On the other hand, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are missing from the campaign process. Are Sonia and Priyanka avoiding Maharashtra because they are worried about defeat in the state assembly polls? Speculations are rife in political circles that Gandhi family has already lost hope about winning the assembly polls. The campaigning for assembly polls will end on October 19. However, since the announcement of the election date, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have stayed away from campaigning in Maharashtra.
When our correspondent Nikhil Sagare spoke to Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant he said, “It is right that Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have skipped Maharashtra but Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Manmohan Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, Siddaramaiah have come to Maharashtra. Rahul Gandhi had held rallies in the state.”
Only Rahul Gandhi attended the meetings. No decision has yet been taken by the party on Priyanka Gandhi’s roadshow in the state. While Rahul has till now campaigned for two days in Maharashtra both Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have not addressed any public meeting in the state. Sonia Gandhi has reduced her public engagements particularly election related in the recent past. She addressed only two key meetings – one while campaigning from her parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh and one more there to thank her voters for electing her.
NCP Mumbai president and spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “Sharad Pawar alone is enough to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. “
Sonia has not only stayed away from active campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls but also did not address any election rally in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in December last year. The Congress formed government in these states. The last time, she campaigned for an assembly election was in Telangana on November 23 last year.
Shiv-Sena, BJP and allies had organised a joint meeting on Friday. However, the Congress-NCP alliance have not organised a single joint rally. Sharad Pawar and Rahul Gandhi did not have a joint meeting even during the Lok Sabha elections. Despite having an alliance both Congress-NCP have failed to have a joint meeting. A number of ministers and prominent leaders from the BJP, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, have campaigned in Maharashtra for the assembly elections. BJP leaders had held press meetings in major cities. They also have campaigned aggressively for assembly polls.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had come to Maharashtra for campaigning. However, Sonia Gandhi, who is the party’s interim president, did not come to Maharashtra. At a time when Congress is fighting for its existence prominent leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have stayed away from campaigning. Polling for Maharashtra will be held on October 21 and counting will take place on October 24.
By Suraj Chandran