Micro-mismanagement hurts Congress poll prospects in Gujarat

Micro-mismanagement hurts Congress poll prospects in Gujarat

By PANKAJ VOHRA | NEW DELHI | 26 November, 2017

With the Bharatiya Janata Party on the back foot in the battle for Gujarat, the Congress could surrender its seeming advantage due to both lack of micro-management at the state and constituency levels, and paucity of desirable coordination amongst leaders entrusted with the task of following up on Rahul Gandhi’s visits.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been spending an enormous amount of time in the state where he was the Chief Minister for over 13 years and is putting in exhaustive efforts to overcome the hurdles in the path of his party, primarily because his two successors have been unable to deliver on the ground. The buzz in political circles is that he could make some startling announcements shortly before the first phase of polling. This could include the declaration of a new Chief Ministerial face.

In the given context, the name of Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Union Minister of State and General Secretary in the Gujarat BJP, is doing the rounds and one of the reasons being cited for this, is his close proximity to Modi, as well as his being from the Patel community, which is threatening to topple the saffron poll calculations this time round. The downside of this scenario is that the current Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani—who, in any case, is a peripheral figure—could voluntarily withdraw his name from the Chief Minister’s race.

Significantly and expectedly, the Gujarat campaign is solely being spearheaded by Modi and even Amit Shah, the party chief is keeping an uncharacteristically low-profile and therefore his visibility is sparse. 

The BJP, with its better organisational set-up, and Modi’s specialisation of treating each seat with equal seriousness and thereby overseeing the overall strategy are being attributed as a catapulting point of a late comeback by his party. It is a known fact that even the harshest critics of the party concede, that in the end, the BJP may just romp home to victory, with the average Gujarati throwing its weight behind the Prime Minister, who has been their mascot as well as the champion for the preservation and elevation of Gujarati pride.

On the other hand, the Congress could not have had a more apt opportunity than the one in 2017 in wresting power in the state after 22 long years. It has been able to get the backing of three young leaders—Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani—who on the face of it, represent conflicting caste interests, but to some degree symbolise the discontent and dissatisfaction in the castes they represent with the BJP.

Rahul Gandhi’s meetings have been very impressive, this also being so because of an undercurrent of pronounced hostility towards the BJP on account of its failure to live up to its promises. However, the party lacks the capacity to capitalise on the tailor-made surface they have been asked to bat on, with none, or little micro-management at the grassroots level. Its top leadership in the state—Bharat Solanki, Shaktisinh Gohil, Tushar Chaudhury, Siddharth Patel and Arjun Modhwadia—does not possess the stature to take on a political titan like Modi. Moreover, they have their severe limitations in view of the poor organisational network in the state, like elsewhere in the country.

Congress sources said that Rahul Gandhi’s meetings, as well as his performance, have been phenomenal, especially given his past lacklustre record. He has been at his aggressive best by raising issues that have made the BJP most uncomfortable. However, the Congress activists turn up in full strength while he is visiting various areas, but are a no-show once he is not in the given vicinity. Thus, there is no follow-up to consolidate on any ground gained by the party.

On Friday, Rahul had addressed a meeting at the Thakorbhai Desai Hall in Ahmedabad where Ranjana Awasthi, a teacher, had voiced and highlighted the concerns of the teaching community regarding the policies being pursued by the state government. She spoke about inadequate remuneration, medical leave, pension and allowances. Rahul Gandhi surprised the audience by going down the aisle to embrace her as an expression of his complete empathy and total solidarity. A day after, no attempt was made by his party colleagues to grant her “protection” from the hostile elements in the BJP, who accosted her on Saturday morning, demanding to know why in the first place she had vocalised such grievances.

It is common knowledge that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul seem to be rather impressed with the performance of former Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, who is the party in-charge of the state. They have publicly praised him for his feat of “turning things around in Gujarat”. However, they have failed to comprehend his limitations in the absence of an adequate infrastructure, which the party has been unable to build over the years. Thus his pro-active role is being interpreted in Congress circles as an attempt to please the high command, while being delinked from the ground realities.

Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel who scored an impressive victory in the Rajya Sabha elections held some months ago, has been curiously maintaining a low key. He has been touring the state, despite recently undergoing a heart procedure, yet is not receiving the requisite political traction; with Rahul Gandhi, tipped to take over as the party chief next month, not extending his out and out patronage to him.

A victory in Gujarat would be a perfect start for Rahul Gandhi’s fresh political innings. This, however, may not be so due to the inherent problems within the grand old party, and the towering influence of Modi over the state. In the end, the difference in the number of seats won by each party is what would ultimately matter. For Modi, Gujarat is a battle he simply cannot afford to lose.

There are 3 Comments

It would be unfortunate if Congress fails to convert the huge public sentiment in its favour into votes in Gujarat. It is a fact that the Congress party has practically abdicated its responsibility of connecting with the grassroot workers for many years now. However, one would expect the senior party leaders in charge of Gujarat to address this issue sooner than later. It is crucial for the Congress to achieve substantial gains in Gujarat to establish Mr. Rahul Gandhi as a credible leader for 2019.

CONGRESS MUST BE BANNED IN INDIA FOR ITS ANTI NATIONAL ACTS.IT IS WORKING AGAINST INDIAN ARMY AND SECURITY FORCES AND FORCED THEM TO BE MARGINALIZED IN 2004-2014.Modijee ought to be more pro active on congress and stop its inroads to Gujarat by exposure of its treason acts and plan to hand over SIR CREEK and SIACHIN to Pakistan.It helped Dawood by opening free smuggling of Gold to India.It arrested all Hindu sadhu saint sadhvis on treason acts and declared HINDU as a Terrorist religion.CONGRESS should not be in India under Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.IT should be rejected by Voters of Gujarat for its support to ISHRAT JAHAN and SOHRABUDDIN who wanted to kill HINDUS and Narendra Moid Amit Shah.Ahmad Patel be arrested and sent to Tihar jail for his liaison with dawood,

PLEASE READ THIS TESTIMONY CAREFULLY. I AM USING THIS OPPORTUNITY TO TELL THE WORLD THAT, GREAT MOTHER IS A GIFTED SPELL CASTER. MY HUSBAND LEFT ME FOR NO REASON. I WAS NO LONGER MY SELF AND AT A TIME, I ATTEMPTED TO COMMIT SUICIDE. BUT THANK GOD I CAME ACROSS GREAT MOTHER ONLINE. I READ GOOD REVIEWS ABOUT HER GOOD WORK AND HOW USEFUL AND HELPFUL SHE HAS BEEN TO PEOPLE. I CONTACTED HER AND TOLD HER MY PROBLEM. SHE TOLD ME THAT MY WAN WILL COME BACK TO ME. SHE TOLD ME WHAT TO DO AND I DID IT AND TO MY GREAT SURPRISE MY HUSBAND CAME BACK JUST AS GREAT MOTHER SAID. I EVEN NOTICED THAT WHEN MY HUSBAND RETURNED, HE EVEN LOVE ME MORE. THIS IS NOT BRAIN WASHING BUT GREAT MOTHER OPENED UP HIS EYES TO SEE HOW MUCH LOVE I HAVE FOR HIM AND HOW MUCH LOVE WE OUGHT TO SHARE WITH EACH OTHER. CONTACT HER NOW ON HER EMAIL: GREATMOTHEROFSOLUTIONTEMPLE@YAHOO.COM AND YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT HER ON WHATSAPP WITH HER NUMBER: +2348078359876 SHE ALSO HAS 2 BLOGS WHICH YOU CAN ALSO USE TO REACH HER. THESE ARE THE BLOGS BELOW. YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE BLOGS TO SEE HER WORK. GREATMOTHEROFPOWERS.BLOGSPOT.COM GREATMOTHEROFSOLUTION.BLOGSPOT.COM

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.