Cong. bid to revive its electoral fortunes

As if stuck in a time warp, the Congress party in Kerala is once gain experimenting with the age-old and tested formula of balancing religion, caste and group equations for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Nevertheless the intervention of the Central leadership appears to have finally got its act together by bringing senior leaders, especially the triumvirate - Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala and Mullappally Ramachandran - on the election scene to take on the ruling CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Through this, the Central leadership wants to sent out a message to the rank and file of the party that though the three leaders are notionally equal, only Mr. Chandy, as a mass leader currently in the party, has the Machiavellian manoeuvres to lead from the front.

However. while the leadership admitted that Mr. Chennithala did his work as Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, he failed to pull off a victory at a crucial juncture in the local body elections. Besides, he lacked the grassroots-level mechanism of the party and was unable to do a ‘V.S. Áchuthanandan act’ despite cornering the government on multiple issues, they said.

Also, the political concoction seems real with the leaders from the Christian, Nair, Ezhava communities looking optimistically to fight the electoral battle addressing the alienated segments and circumventing the party’s shrinking vote bases. But the dominance of the ‘I’ group over the ‘A’ group in the Congress party will continue in the seat-sharing package.

In addition, the leadership feels that a rejig in its election strategy showed that the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has come up with a game plan unlike its runway success even without a election plan in the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

However, it remains to be seen how the Congress party can match up against the ruling CPI (M) which has started the process of cherry picking the best to fight the polls to reach the magical figure of 71 in the 140-member House.

For the Central leadership, it is also a catch-22 situation as the Congress and the LDF have forged an electoral alliance in West Bengal. In such a political cohabitation elsewhere, the State leaders will have to solely engage in an eyeball to eyeball confrontations during the election campaign.

Moreover, it will have to do some arm-twisting tactics to deal with estranged leaders seeking to return to State politics through the Assembly polls.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 2:50:07 AM |

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