Bouyed by the party’s performance in the recently-concluded Gujarat assembly polls, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has planned a mass outreach programme in the state from the next month, covering all the 282 assembly constituencies.
According to party sources, in the first phase of the campaign that will start in the second week of the New Year, western Maharashtra will be covered. Led by PCC president Ashok Chavan, the campaign will start from Kolhapur and conclude in Pune.
Party leaders, MPs, MLAs, former lawmakers and office-bearers of the party will be part of the Yatra, sources said.
“The state unit of the Congress plans to raise issues against the BJP-led government, like farm loan waiver and unfulfilled promises and at the same time galvanise the party cadre and strengthen the organisation,” they added.
The assembly elections in Maharashtra are scheduled to take place in the latter part of 2019.
The party sources said that a decision on the talks of electoral alliance with the NCP and other parties will be taken at an appropriate time.
“The party is aware that compromise in the name of opposition unity does not mean it is on the back foot,” they said.
Political analysts say the Congress performance in the Gujarat assembly polls have brought into focus the role of opposition parties in Maharashtra to take on the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in the run-up to the 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
Unlike Gujarat, which has a two-party polity, Maharashtra has been a multi-party system since the last two decades.
“Our intention is to ensure that we give space to all non-BJP parties and strengthen the opposition unity to counter the state government on farm distress and other issues,” a Congress leader said.
He said the opposition morcha at Nagpur recently was one such example in which all the non-BJP parties took part.
“Congress attempted a larger perspective of opposition unity when it could have managed a huge morcha on its own. We allowed NCP chief Sharad Pawar to take the centre stage, where he spoke in favour of former PM Manmohan Singh and Congress president Rahul Gandhi on a public platform,” the leader pointed out.