The fight has been on since 2014 but it was only on December 11 this year that the congress party truly put forward a show of their strength as they claimed victory in the Hindi belt. Claiming a landslide victory in Chhattisgarh, while registering majority with aide in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The party at the moment has all the reasons to celebrate as in Rajasthan, the Congress won 99 out of 199 seats, ousting the ruling Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government. In Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP lost power after 15 years. The Congress won 114 seats in the 230-member Assembly.
In Chhattisgarh, Congress romped to power with a huge mandate after winning 68 seats in the 90-member House.
The states, ahead of polling, saw high-pitched campaigning with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and other party members targeting PM Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party for their governance. The Congress’ best showing, among the heartland states where Gandhi addressed rallies, is in Chhattisgarh. Of the 18 seats where he held rallies, the party has won in 14.
Among the many leaders and factors that contributed to the Congress’s win in Chhattisgarh is party’s national general secretary P L Punia and secretary Chandan Yadav, who worked tirelessly in delivering party’s message to the people of the state.
P L Punia, general secretary in charge of the state is credited with building the party from the grassroots up and ultimately destroying the BJP bastion, into the top echelons of his party’s hierarchy. Punia was made general secretary and in-charge of Chhattisgarh in July 2017, almost 18 months ahead of the assembly elections. Punia was given charge to attract the scheduled caste (SC) voters. He organised around 100 meetings in all the assembly seats to train party workers from the booth to the district level.
“People have chosen Congress and today’s victory sends out a message that democracy wins in this country,” said Punia.
Another man who is equally credited for his contribution for party’s win in the state is Chandan Yadav.
While in conversation with Newsd over his role and efforts in maintaining people’s trust in Congress party, Chandan Yadav, a former Youth Congress leader said Congress’ rallies were a hit as the party focused on connecting with people and so, was able to deliver their message across easily. The party used the rallies to tell people not only about the BJP misrule but was able to run a positive campaign by telling people their vision for the state.
46-year-old alumnus of JNU, Yadav is a national media panellist of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). He was a national office-bearer of the National Student’s Union of India (NSUI) and Indian Youth Congress, and general secretary of Bihar Congress.
Chandan Yadav originally from Bihar, is a first generation politician who started his political career with NSUI. Yadav is the second leader from Bihar to be entrusted with the role of secretary in AICC. While associating himself with Congress party and describing his 22-years of political career, Yadav proudly says “I chose politics and I chose Congress.”
Telling party’s strategy while approaching the people in various smaller sections of state, Yadav said “The opposition had said we were faceless but we went in this election under Rahul Gandhi’s guidance and the cadre was motivated as he held a number of interactions with them and the voters.”
The only factor that maintained farmers trust in Congress was our “E- Formula. Here, ‘E’ stands for ‘Emotions’ and ‘Economics’. We saw that Chhattisgarh farmers, poors, rural societies and women felt neglected under the ruling government. The promises that were vowed were never delivered which inspired us to take the charge and do the needful for these sections.”
Yadav told that the Party’s vow to waive off farmers loan within 10 days of coming into power, raise minimum support price of paddy to Rs 2500, and provide subsidised electricity highly favoured Congress.
“In contrast to Congress’ specific promises, BJP’s manifesto was vague about its plans for farmers, OBCs and other weaker sections of the society.”