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Congress back to Square One in Gujarat

From having come inside placing distance of ousting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat in the 2017 meeting polls to shedding a clutch of legislators, and eventually getting worn out in the latest bypolls, the Congress occasion’s fortunes in the house state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi proceed to slide.

In December 2017, the occasion restricted the BJP to 99 seats, its lowest tally in the state in 22years and likewise registered its greatest efficiency in twenty years, successful 77. The occasion received reward from election watchers for placing up a powerful battle and even proscribing the BJP from reaching the psychologically necessary three-figure mark in the 182-member meeting.

But over the previous three years, the Congress has misplaced 12 of its legislators to the BJP, which has diminished its power to 65. On the opposite hand, the BJP has elevated its tally to 111. Chief minister Vijay Rupani described the victory in the latest meeting bypolls – the place the BJP received all eight seats, which have been all beforehand held by the Congress – as a “trailer” of the 2022 meeting elections.

Gujarat Congress functionaries primarily blame the central management, particularly in-charge Rajeev Satav, for the slide from 2017 onwards, and say the state unit is simply too weak to tackle the BJP.

Across India, in bypolls to 58 seats throughout 11 states, the Congress received simply 12 ,whereas the BJP received 40, comfortably retaining energy in Madhya Pradesh and getting a majority by itself in Manipur. The Congress held 44 of those 58 seats earlier.

This was the third by-election in Gujarat for the reason that 2019 Lok Sabha polls necessitated due to the switching of Congress legislators to the BJP.

In bypolls in May final 12 months, the ruling BJP received all 4 seats in Gujarat. This was adopted by one other by-election in October final 12 months on six seats, additionally attributable to the defection of Congress legislators, together with firebrand backward caste chief Alpesh Thakor, to the BJP. While the BJP and the Congress received three seats every, the grand previous occasion managed to defeat Thakor.

This reverse occurred simply when the Congress occasion regarded to be making a powerful run — beginning with the election of senior chief Ahmed Patel in August 2017 to the Rajya Sabha. Patel prevailed in a tense battle with the BJP nominee Balwant Singh in an election that spilled previous midnight and noticed the Congress sequester its lawmakers in a resort to stop any makes an attempt of poaching.

In December that 12 months, the occasion fought the meeting elections with senior chief and present Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot as the final secretary in-charge of Gujarat and Bharatsinh Solanki because the state unit chief. Though the BJP ultimately received the elections in what is named its pocket borough however the Congress managed to restore some delight. “All of that has been lost in last three years. We are back to square one,” mentioned a functionary.

Satav, a former Youth Congress president and thought of shut to former occasion president Rahul Gandhi, was appointed Gujarat in-charge in March 2018, just a few months after Gehlot took over as Rajasthan chief minister.

“It’s been over a year now that we don’t have any state committee, right from booth level. The state leadership is also moving in the hands of one family,” mentioned a second Gujarat Congress chief who refused to be named.

“Satav has hardly toured the state after assuming the charge and even could not bring the warring factions together,” he added. But Satav mentioned the criticism was unjustified. “No doubt, we have lost by-elections on all seats and we will do in-depth introspection and take the required corrective measures after evaluating the reasons. But the BJP misused all the state machinery to ensure its victory. We have seen ruling parties winning all by-elections barring Telangana and Haryana,” he mentioned.

Ahmedabad-based political analyst Prakash Shah blamed the weak management for the Congress occasion’s debacle in the by-elections. “The Congress leadership has failed to keep its flock together and the BJP is also readily accommodating them. This shows that the Congress leadership is weak and its legislators are political pliable,” he mentioned. Gujarat was not the one disappointment for the Congress in this spherical of meeting bypolls. It additionally failed to win any seat in the bypolls in UP, Karnataka, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha and Telangana.

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