Indian National Congress has started strategic preparations for the upcoming Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections. Ashok Gehlot, the Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress veteran, is appointed as a senior observer of Gujarat. Also, the Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo and Congress leader Milind Deora are appointed as observers of Gujarat.
In the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, the soft-spoken and iron-handed Ashok Gehlot who was in charge of the Congress election campaign pulled the congress party to win 77 seats. Gehlot executed issue-based campaign attacks against the BJP regarding farmers’ distress, unemployment and GST impact.
Speaking to VO! AICC General Secretary K.C Venugopal MP stressed that Ashok Gehlot is not a stranger to Gujarat. He had been closely watching the politics of the state for more than 20 years. “Gehlotji was in charge of the 2017 assembly elections in Gujarat. His strategies improvised the political presence of Congress in the State”.
After being made Gujarat in charge, Gehlot’s first test was to ensure Ahmed Patel’s victory in the Rajya Sabha polls. He managed that by the skin of his teeth, giving a big boost to the party in the run-up to the Assembly polls.
Gehlot made a Congress campaign strategy with Rahul Gandhi by organising bus trips to reach out to the people at the grassroots level. He also succeeded in helping Congress shed its anti-Hindu image by sending Rahul Gandhi on a temple visit spree which even made the BJP uneasy to question Gandhi’s religious devotion.
Gehlot’s trademark stamp on Congress’ Gujarat strategy was evident in the way the party attempted to build caste alliances as an antidote to Hindutva politics. Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor, Chhotubhai Vasava and Jignesh Mevani – were all meticulously picked to create an umbrella coalition.
Also, the Congress party has made Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel as Senior Observer for Himachal Pradesh. At the same time, for the elections of this state, former Deputy Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot and Pratap Singh have been made observers.
It’s worth noting that to put up a strong fight against the BJP, the Congress party has given important responsibility in the elections to its senior leaders and Chief Ministers.