New Delhi: With a shift of focus to the upcoming Assembly elections, Congress has turned to its veterans for election management, appointing former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to supervise its campaign in Goa as a senior election observer, and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh for Manipur.
In both states, the Congress had finished as the largest party just short of a majority and was outmanoeuvred by the BJP, and then saw a mass exodus of party MLAs to it – over a dozen lawmakers in Goa since 2017. So, the challenge for both leaders will be to win the elections as well as keep the flock together.
In a statement, Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal said: “Hon’ble Congress President has appointed P. Chidambaram as Senior Election Observer for Goa to look after strategies and coordination in the upcoming assembly election.”
Congress’s Goa chief Girish Chodankar said: “Team Congress in Goa wholeheartedly welcomes the appointment of Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram as Senior Election Observer for Goa. With his guidance & support, it is now certain that INC Goa will form the Government in 2022 with absolute majority.”
Chidambaram’s appointment is aimed to galvanise support from the Tamil and Kerala diaspora in the coastal state, say observers.
Congress state In charge is Dinesh Gundu Rao but a week back, he was recalled from Goa and no official communication was made, except a phone call to Rao, sources said.
After recent debacles in Bihar, West Bengal, and Kerala, the Congress is now not in a mood to take chances and will get such coveted assignments to its leaders who have proven their credentials. Observers for Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand will also be appointed.
Assembly elections in Goa and Manipur are likely to be held in February 2022.