'To regain urban ground, Congress needs to strengthen frontal organisations'

Ahmedabad, May 27 (IANS): The Congress has been consistently ceding its urban vote bank since 1995 to the BJP. In Gujarat, the party which was once a major force in cities, is deperately trying to recapture its lost ground. The only option is to have strong local leadership and build frontal organisations, believe state Congress leaders.

There are 42 assembly seats in eight major cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat, Gandhinagar, Junagaddh, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar. of these only five are with the Congress and the rest 37 seats are with the BJP.

"There is no doubt that BJP has strong hold in the urban areas, but this time things will change," hopes Nirav Baxi, Ahmedabad City Congress Committee chief. He said since the last two months Congress has launched inflation, unemployment protest rallies across the city and there is very good response, that shows anti incumbency in the state.

Baxi said, "If we have limitation in organisation, soon the city committees and frontal organisations appointment will be made, even block level and booth level committees will be formed which will address the issue and give tough fight to the BJP." Baxi is confident that of 16 seats in Ahmedabad, Congress will win at least eight this time.

"If congress looks weak in the urban areas, it is because its frontal organisations are weak. Answer to BJP is not only in campaign, but to strengthen the frontal organisations like Seva Dal, Mahila wing, Youth Morcha and NSUI," admits Vijay Pansheriya, Congress leader from Surat.

He suggests that the party should try hand on converting NSUI members into Youth Congress members, and then into the main party. "Senior party leaders should make space for young leaders. They should even create a legacy which is not happening in present day politics," Pansheriya said.

"When the party organisation is very weak, candidates are left alone to fight the elections, the best option is to announce candidates well in advance, so that they can create their own team and prepare for elections. If that does not happen and candidates are announced in the last moment, they have little time to campaign and fight," observes, Naresh Variya, senior journalist from Surat.

"The second problem for the party is, it is not pitching the work its government has done. The new generation believes that only BJP has done the development. Till this myth is broken, the party has little chance to return to power," assesses Variya.

"There are five assembly seats in Vadodara. In 2017 elections, BJP won all five seats with more than 50,000 margin of votes. To win these seats against such a formidable force, Congress needs a massive wave in its favour, which is not visible in the urban areas," marks Ajay Dave, senior journalist from Vadodara.

"Only charismatic leadership is hope for the Congress, or if it can create an army overnight to fight the BJP, then only it has a chance to return to urban areas," Dave said.



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Title: 'To regain urban ground, Congress needs to strengthen frontal organisations'

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