Gujarat polls 2022: A look at Congress' strengths and weaknesses [Explained]
Ahmedabad, Nov 12: Congress, which has announced its manifesto on Saturday for Gujarat polls, has promised the people of the state to provide 10 lakh jobs, Rs 500 per LPG cylinder, 300 units of free electricity per month and Rs 3,000 allowance to unemployed people.
The grand old party also promised waiver of farm loans of up to Rs 3 lakh, free education from KG to PG (kindergarten to post-graduation) and constitution of a committee to determine MSP (minimum support price) for each and every crop.
With these promises, can the grand old party end its losing streak? Does Congress have the potential to turn the tides around this time? Let's take a look at its strengths and weaknesses.
The grand old party has been defeated by the BJP for six consecutive terms since 1995. The saffron party has overpowered the grand old party election after election.
However, the Congress put up some fight in 2017 when it won 77 seats and reduced the BJP seats to 99, the lowest since 1995.
Although Congress has been out of power for 27 years, the grand old party has maintained its voter share. It has garnered over 34 per cent in the assembly polls and in 2017 it got a 41 per cent vote share. It means that Congress has the potential to emerge victorious in the poll.
The party has the support of Thakor and Koli communities, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Muslims and it can cause upset to BJP if it gains votes from KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim). The party needs some amount of votes from the disgruntled Patel community to outperform BJP.
Although BJP won the previous election, its vote share has declined. With the entry of AAP, the saffron party's vote share is expected to take a beating in urban constituencies. With some focus, the grand old party can convert this opportunity to its advantage.
It lacks a strong leader with charisma. This has been a big problem for Congress when it has strong leaders like PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the opposition camp.
Another major issue for the grand old party is infighting which has not helped the party to beat BJP.
The party needs to focus on 66 urban and local seats in which it has not been able to register win in the last three decades.
Rahul Gandhi, who is busy with Bharat Jodo Bharat, has not arrived in Gujarat which is not a good sign for the party.
16 Congress leaders have quit the party in the last five years including Hardik Patel. If it can address this issue, half of the issue will be solved.
What AAP can do for BJP, AIMIM can for Congress by eating into its Muslim votes.