ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Congress’s Gujarat Model

Following the result of the Gujarat assembly elections, the print media has witnessed a slew of write-ups by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionaries trumpeting the party’s victory and explaining how its indefatigable leadership and deep organisational roots contributed to that victory. Though the BJP managed to retain Gujarat, it would be really tough to argue that it “won” the elections. Though it did add slightly to its vote share compared to 2012, the party lost seats to the extent that it could almost have lost the majority. On the other hand, while the Congress did make an impressive comeback, it too cannot really claim victory. Nevertheless, the comeback of the Congress does deserve attention not only because the party would hope to repeat such improvement in other states, but also because both the strategy and image of leadership went through changes.

So, the question that the Gujarat election throws up is about the Congress’s road to revival. Does the campaign in Gujarat signify the shaping of the party’s own “Gujarat model”—a new model that would give it electoral advantage and also a broad strategy that can be adopted elsewhere too? Following its devastating defeat in 2014 and a long period of silence and inaction, the Congress saw a glimmer of hope in Punjab when it won the assembly election there in 2017. But after all, that was a home-grown harvest under the stewardship of Captain Amarinder Singh.

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Updated On : 16th Jan, 2018

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