Battle intensifies as political parties brainstorm to finalise election campaign

Two days after the announcement of the schedule for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress has launched its 2019 Lok Sabha poll campaign from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home turf Gujarat today. The Congress working committee meet comes on March 12 which also marks the 89th anniversary of famous Dandi March to abolish the salt tax by Mahatma Gandhi led from the Sabarmati Ashram.

Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh arrived at the Sabarmati Ashram for a prayer meeting to mark the anniversary of the Dandi March. Senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjub Kharge, Ambika Soni and Ashok Gehlot are also present.

The main opposition party will be working out to extract key strategies to contest the Lok Sabha elections against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Ahmedabad is also significant as it will be Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s first meeting of the committee after appointment as the party’s newly appointed general secretary of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Patidar leader Hardik Patel set to fight the Lok Sabha polls is also expected to be inducted into Congress at the public meeting in the presence of Rahul Gandhi to give a major boost to the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress Working Committee meeting is being held in Gujarat after a gap of 58 years. It was last held in the state in 1961 at Bhavnagar.

Congress’ state in-charge Rajeev Satav said in a media brief that “It is after 1961, a gap of 58 years, that Gujarat is going to host a meeting of the CWC. It is also being held to commemorate the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi beginning a new chapter in India’s Independence struggle by launching the ‘Salt Satyagraha’ to Dandi on March 12, 1930”.

Top Congress leadership, led by party President Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will deliberate on key issues to be addressed in the public meetings against the ruling BJP for the 17th Lok Sabha elections beginning 11 April at the CWC meet.

The crucial Election Manifesto

Besides giving final shape to its Lok Sabha election strategy and working on the election manifesto, the party will raise voice demanding answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over its “failures” and “unfulfilled” promises delivered to the masses.

The party leaders will also discuss ways to corner Modi and his government on issues of governance, agrarian and economic crisis, unemployment and lack of job creation, national security and women safety.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) set to kick-start its campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in its meeting in Ahmedabad will be finalising big issues like joblessness, farm distress, rafale, women reservation bill, terror attacks demonetisation, GST etc. The party will also issue a statement after the CWC, covering all these issues, say sources.

Congress General Secretary and star campaigner, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has been given the charge of the party’s fortune in 41 constituencies in the eastern Uttar Pradesh, will address the CWC for the first time.

The Congress in Gujarat, battling infighting, has alleged that the BJP has been “engineering defections of party legislators”, with three of them quitting in last four days.

BJP looks for public suggestions for Election Manifesto

A day after Lok Sabha poll dates was announced, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s top brass on Monday foresighted their election preparedness and strategies, with party chief Amit Shah meeting office bearers and top party leaders. Later, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also held talks with members of the election manifesto committee.

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19 while counting of votes in 543 constituencies will be taken up on May 23.

The BJP manifesto committee, headed by Singh, met at his residence with defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union ministers Radha Mohan Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, general secretary Bhupendra Yadav and other members attending. The 20-member manifesto committee had set up 15 sub-committees to work on the 2019 “Sankalp Patra”, or election manifesto.

The BJP has already launched a campaign ‘Bharat ke mann ki baat, Modi ke saath’ seeking suggestions and expectations of voters for a “new India” from 10 crore families across the country before giving a final shape to its election manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls.

Based on public suggestions, the BJP will prepare its manifesto. Finance minister Arun Jaitley also held a meeting with party spokespersons at the party headquarters. Being one of the chief election strategists of the party, Arun Jaitley had been regularly visiting party offices and holding a discussion with leaders.



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