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Thursday, July 18, 2024, 1:30 am

Thursday, July 18, 2024, 1:30 am

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Tickets for Congress go unclaimed.

Congress
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The flurry of candidates vying for political party posts in India is one sign of the direction of the election wind. The biggest rush has historically been seen at the Congress party headquarters in New Delhi.
But with the BJP ruling for ten years and a better prospect of reelection, the rush ought to have been directed towards the party’s headquarters. There was no comparable frenzy at the BJP headquarters, maybe because of its large ability to withstand the intense pressure. As a cadre-based party that is now directed by a single person, it has its own strategies for ticket distribution. A seat may be guaranteed for a candidate who enjoys strong support from his constituents or who has held a prominent role in another party.

Otherwise, the party has its own filtering mechanisms, against which there is no recourse. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeatedly claiming that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would surpass the 400-mark this time, BJP tickets are considered invaluable.

Leading the I.N.D.I.A are the Congress tickets. Normally, the second most sought-after coalition would have been one with a pan-Indian presence and a 20% vote share of its own.
To field candidates in every constituency assigned to the party in the several states of North India, however, is proving to be a difficult challenge. The declared candidate in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Rohan Gupta, has withdrawn to run on the tenuous grounds that his father is ill. PCC head and seasoned politician Pratibha Singh has declined to run in Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress is in power, citing the party’s disadvantageous position. While the Samajwadi Party’s gift of 17 seats to the Congress in Uttar Pradesh may have been noteworthy, it is proving to be extremely difficult to recruit strong candidates for these seats.

The party’s problems have been exacerbated by the Union government’s successful bank account freezing. In contrast to BJP candidates who have the support of an efficient electoral apparatus that is well-funded, candidates understand that they will need to mobilise their own resources. The party is forced by this scenario to accept outlaws like Danish Ali in the UP and Pappu Yadav in Bihar into the fold and award them seats.
Viewed from another angle, it offers a chance to get rid of dead weight and revitalise the party by giving seats to young, talented people instead of veterans like the wife of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who just want to hold party ranks and government jobs.

Abhishek Verma

 

 


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