Politics

Assembly elections: Pressure on Congress to show its worth in opposition ranks – Times of India

It is felt that Congress will have to demonstrate its ability to take on and tame the BJP – given the bipolar politics of a large swathe spanning MP, Chhattisgarh, HP, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Assam, Karnataka – to earn the respect of the regional forces.

NEW DELHI: With the regional parties proving the bulwark against Modi-led election machine in the recent batch of elections and triggering talks of an anti-communal front at the national level, the pressure has mounted on the Congress to prove its worth in the opposition ranks.
Contrary to the marquee contests this time involving regional parties, the next set will witness a direct “Congress vs BJP” face-off in Uttarakhand and Goa. Both states are ruled by BJP which makes it imperative for Congress to wrest them from the rival.
But the stakes are set to be higher because the victory of TMC in West Bengal, DMK in Tamil Nadu and CPM in Kerala has given the impression that the regional parties have managed to shut out an expectant BJP while Congress failed in Assam. While these results have kicked off a chatter about a national anti-BJP front, many in the opposition view Congress as the weak link that is unable to confront the saffron party even though Congress insists it is the principal anti-BJP voice.
It is felt that Congress will have to demonstrate its ability to take on and tame the BJP – given the bipolar politics of a large swathe spanning MP, Chhattisgarh, HP, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Assam, Karnataka – to earn the respect of the regional forces.
The tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls was set by the Congress sweep of the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh but the dynamics of the polls changed after the Pulwama attacks, Congressmen regret.
While the biggest prize of all, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab also go to the polls with Goa and Uttarakhand, Congress is not a factor in UP while BJP is absent from the latter. Uttarakhand and Goa would thus be watched for the direct confrontation between the national parties. A stumble there would deal a serious setback to Congress’s political positioning.

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