Indian National Congress leadership meets to outline strategy for upcoming state elections

Indian National Congress leadership meets to outline strategy for upcoming state elections

The Indian National Congress will convene its working committee today, with key state-level officials also in attendance. Congress leadership will

FILE PHOTO: Rahul Gandhi, Vice-President of India’s main opposition Congress Party, and Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party (SP) President and Chief Minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, wave to the crowd in Allahabad

Photo: Reuters/Jitendra Prakash

The Indian National Congress will convene its working committee today, with key state-level officials also in attendance. Congress leadership will plan for major state elections in coming months, as well as the all-important spring 2019 national election.

Congress is looking to bounce back from its worst-ever performance in the 2014 national elections, which saw PM Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win 282 seats, to Congress’s 44.

The four state legislative elections scheduled ahead of next year’s general election should indicate Congress’s momentum, especially in Chhattisgarh—a state in which the BJP holds only eight seats more than Congress’s coalition. The BJP is slightly favoured in the election, which is due by January 5, 2019, but it remains a tossup. Congress would get a large morale boost from unseating Raman Singh there, as he is the longest-serving BJP chief minister in the country.

Congress will continue to have an uphill climb heading into 2019’s general elections, even if the numerous opposition parties unite against the BJP. Expect Congress to build support in upcoming state elections, but expectations for the general elections should remain tempered.

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