‘Congress has eroded in a way that it is very difficult for the party to make a comeback’.


NEW DELHI: The Congress in Delhi is preparing for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections to challenge the two dominant parties in the state, AAP and BJP. In order to revive its political existence in the state, the party seems to be working on wooing Dalits and minority votes.
As an indication of the party asserting its existence, the Congress’ state unit accused the BJP of manipulating the delimitation of the MCD wards to suit its political interest at the cost of Dalits and minorities.
Furthermore, it had passed a unanimous resolution to “protect the interest of Dalits and minorities in the final report of the Delimitation Committee for MCD wards”. Anuj Attre, Delhi unit Congress spokesperson, told The Sunday Guardian, “It’s about a political opportunity; the Congress has always represented the voice of backward class, we have always represented the Dalits and minorities. It’s being seen how the minorities are treated everywhere, but the AAP government has been discriminatory towards both the Dalits and minorities. Since there is nobody to hear the problems of Dalits and minorities, we are taking up their issues.”
He further added, “As atrocities have increased against the Dalits and they are being discriminated against socially and economically, we are trying to draw the government’s attention on them so that their issues are addressed. Moreover, the party has its focus on all the classes, we never do caste, community or religion politics, we are demanding justice for backward classes so that their problems are heard as well.”
However, Delhi AAP MLA Bhandana Kumari, responding to the Congress’ allegations, said, “The Aam Aadmi Party’s focus is on every aam aadmi’s family, that is why there should be no division on the basis of caste; we work for the society and for strengthening of the society, we work to give free access to water, electricity and education.”
The MCD wards have shrunk from 272 seats to 250, out of which 42 seats are kept for Scheduled class (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST). However, experts say there will be no big change seen among Muslim voters as they have now been voting for the AAP since a decade and is more likely that they will continue to vote for them as they find Congress’ presence diminished. “Muslims seldom have any faith in the Congress now,” a political analyst said. Responding to whether the Congress’ focus on Dalits and minorities will impact the AAP’s vote bank, P.K.D. Nambiar, a Delhi-based political analyst, said, “Of course, it will dent the Aam Aadmi Party’s vote bank, but then Congress is like a dead host in Delhi; Congress has eroded in a way that it is very difficult for the party to make a comeback. Even if they get a few seats, they should be very happy about it.”