By Abdul hafiz lakhani:
After Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s grand show in Uttar pradesh, Congress will challenge PM Modi in his home state, as Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s apex decision-making body, is set to be held in Gujarat.The Congress seems to be taking the fight to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s strongholds as the 2019 Lok Sabha elections nearer.
Prior to the general elections, two CWC meetings are likely to take place, out of which one is scheduled for in Gujarat. Our party president has been repeatedly saying that we will play on the front foot. Whether it is Uttar Pradesh, where we are going alone, or Gujarat, where we are going to hold the meet, the party wants to send a message that we are taking on the BJP and PM Modi directly,” a senior Congress leader from Gujarat said, requesting anonymity.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the Congress, is likely to meet in Gujarat days after party president Rahul Gandhi kick-starts the campaign for the general elections from Dharampur in Valsad on February 14. “The decision to hold the CWC meeting in Gujarat has almost been finalised and now the date and modalities are being worked out,” said a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). The CWC meeting will also be attended by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was recently inducted as general secretary of the party.
Gandhi’s rally in Dharampur is also being viewed as part of this strategy. Valsad, which is largely rural and tribal, has been traditionally a favourite of the Gandhi family. While Indira Gandhi often chose to start her campaign from Dharampur, Gandhi too visited the area often and Sonia Gandhi also started the 2004 campaign from here. Analysts said that while the Congress was trying to rekindle Indira Gandhi’s image through Priyanka Gandhi in UP, it was seeking a similar effect through the rally in Dharampur. A good showing for the Congress in Gujarat would be bad news for the BJP,as Gujarat is the bastan of saffron party and pitch for Modi-shah pair. Gujarat is also on the agenda of Congress, so Rahul Gandhi looks for a showdown from South Gujarat.
Although the venue is yet to be decided, the CWC may meet in south Gujarat later this month, said the member, who did not wish to be identified. The Congress expects the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls to be announced by the first week of March and it is keen to hold the meet ahead of the announcement, said party member.
The decision by the top Congress leadership to hold the CWC meeting in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state is being seen as a deft strategic move ahead of crucial elections, more so with party chief Rahul Gandhi trying to take on Narendra Modi directly on a series of issues, including the controversy around the Rafale fighter jet deal.
The previous CWC meeting was held in BJP-ruled Maharashtra’s Wardha district. The meeting also marked the beginning of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations. Senior party leaders said that Gujarat was an obvious choice given that it was also the home state of Gandhi. Close on the heels of infighting in Gujarat state Congress set up, it will be interesting to see how things shape after Rahul Gandhi starts his election campaign on 14th February. Priyanka’s presence in CWC meeting will be watched with great interest.