Sonia Gandhi sounds poll bugle by holding a rally in Modi’s hometurf Varanasi.
The massive roadshow held by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Varanasi the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi received tremendous response from residents of the city. Congress workers from Maharashtra too had participated in the rally. After receiving severe drubbing in the assembly polls held in four states the Congress is trying to revive itself ahead of the crucial UP assembly polls scheduled to be held in 2017. The outcome of the polls will have ramifications for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. If Congress performs better in UP election then it will definitely boost the party’s morale.
Whenever political analysts have written off Congress, the party has made a strong comeback by winning crucial elections. In 1977 the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai had said that Congress has finished but the party regained power in 1980. The party also came back strongly after the fall of the third front government in 1991. Congress surprised everyone by winning the 2004 Lok Sabha polls at a time when BJP was confident of retaining power. The party then was re-elected for the second successive time in 2009 but lost the 2014 general election due to factors like rising corruption and anti-incumbency.
A Congress leader spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “Sonia Gandhi’s rally had drawn huge crowds. She interacted with the masses and was able to connect with them. Her presence in the rally has boosted the confidence of party workers who were disappointed after the party had lost assembly polls.”
“We are working hard to strengthen the party ahead of UP assembly polls. We will be holding more rallies and highlight about the failures of the Modi government. The Modi government had made several promises to people like creating job opportunities, power generation and clean-up of river Ganga but they have failed to deliver them. People are unhappy with the performance of the government,” said a Congress party worker.
“It is from Kashi that Congress will make a comeback in Uttar Pradesh,” veteran Congress leader Vijay Shanker Mehta said.
The party is trying to woo Dalits and Brahims who can decide the fate of assembly polls. Congress had won 28 seats out of the 403 in 2012 assembly polls and this time the party is keen to improve its performance. The party is trying to create a dent in the traditional vote bank of BJP. Sheila Dixit has already been declared as the chief ministerial candidate of Congress for UP assembly polls on the other hand BJP is keeping its cards close to its chest. Last week Congress vice-president too had an interaction with party workers in Lucknow. The party is trying to woo upper caste voters who comprise around 10 per cent of the state’s population. On the other hand, BJP might find itself on the backfoot due to incidents like Una lynching, Rohit Vemula suicide and demolition of Ambedkar building.