Its candidates' list is not yet out and workers allege that the city party chief has not yet held a meeting to strategise for the coming polls
Eknath Gaikwad. File pic
With less than a month left for the Maharashtra assembly elections, the Congress is still lagging behind in preparations and campaigning. While Eknath Gaikwad was appointed the new Mumbai Congress chief on September 6, sources within the party said that there have been no meetings with him yet, to strategise for the upcoming elections.
Many workers felt that despite the poor performance of the party in the Lok Sabha elections, no efforts are being made to plan for the assembly elections. "While many BJP candidates started campaigning more than a month ago, we still don't know who will contest. Individually, we have assessed the shortcomings of the party during the Lok Sabha elections. But as a party, there haven't been any meetings with the Mumbai Congress president about the elections," said a potential candidate.
Though the party plans to contest from at least 25 seats in Mumbai, some senior members said that they are serious only about 10 of them. "It is true that the general morale of the party is down. There haven't been any meetings to discuss the strategy of the party," said a member. Gaikwad, however, said the list of candidates is in the last stage.
He added that the party will be prepared for the elections. "We carried out a survey after the Lok Sabha elections. We have found our shortcomings and the issues we need to focus on," he said. He added that while BJP has been emphasising on surgical strikes, abrogation of article 370 etc. such issues mean little in the assembly elections. "In assembly elections, the focus is on issues involving people, increasing number of farmer suicides, rising inflation etc." he said.
Tie up with SP?
Some senior party members said that there would be an alliance with the Samajwadi Party. But while sources in the Congress said they have agreed on four seats in the state including one in Mumbai city (Mankhurd) with a friendly fight at Byculla, members from SP said they would contest seven seats (including Byculla).