NEW DELHI: The Congress state units have started initial preparations for the Assembly polls in three key states — Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand, scheduled later this year — even as they are awaiting directions from the party leadership on the poll strategy for these states.
The biggest issue troubling these state units is that there is no organisational set-up at the district and block levels. Also, infighting among state leadership continues to ail the party.
For instance, according to a senior party leader, in Haryana, there has been no district level or block level committees for last several years while the differences between Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda are out in the open.
A review meeting chaired on Tuesday by the party’s Haryana in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad to assess the debacle in the state in the Lok Sabha elections saw supporters of the two factions blame each other.
An upset Azad directed leaders to work towards strengthening booth management and focus on the Assembly polls.
“There has been no organisational structure in Haryana for the last 10 years; nobody has focused to constitute them. We lack workers at the grassroots and that is most likely to impact us in assembly elections as we all know that strategy, booth management and campaign is the BJP’s strength,” said a party leader from Haryana.
The party in-charge for Maharashtra and Jharkhand, Mallikarjun Kharge and RPN Singh, respectively, are yet to hold meetings with state leaders.
In Maharashtra, where the Congress won only one LS seat, district and block level committees are virtually non-functional. To add to the party’s woes, many of its MLAs are reportedly in touch with the BJP to cross over.
However, the state unit is putting up a brave face. “We will contest in Maharashtra with NCP and other smaller parties. The Assembly elections would be fought on state issues and the bad performance of the Fadnavis government. People who are crossing over had made up their minds even before the Lok Sabha elections,” said Sachin Sawant, general secretary, state Congress.
He said the party is scheduled to hold a meeting of district heads on June 7-8 to strategise for the State polls and the focus would be on improving booth-level management.
A similar situation prevails in Jharkhand where the mahatgathbandhan bagged only two seats in the national elections. The party is yet to discuss the reasons behind its show but the internal blame game is on.