NEW DELHI: The dramatic Rajya Sabha win of Congress' chief strategist Ahmed Patel is being widely hailed in internal circles as the booster shot the party needed and a turning point in its fortunes.
Patel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, pushed back an aggressive BJP to win a high stakes battle for the RS seat from Gujarat, providing state cadres with a big reason to cheer.
Gujarat goes for Assembly elections shortly.
Congress general secretary in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot described Patel's victory in the RS poll as a morale booster for party cadres across the country and a significant marker of the BJP's fallibility.
"The BJP has suffered a lot of damage in this election. Its credibility has taken a huge hit. There was no tool they didn't employ to put spokes in Congress wheels. BJP chief Amit Shah himself went and sat in Gujarat during counting."
"Ahmed Patel's win will have a positive impact for us not just in Gujarat but across the country. People saw the extent to which BJP can fall to win one seat at the cost of democracy. One election has exposed the BJP totally and this victory will prove a boon for Congress," Gehlot said.
Congress insiders hailed Patel's win for another reason the fact that it showed BJP's electoral vulnerability after a long time.
"This win has broken the myth of BJP invincibility and it has also boosted workers' morale hugely. It will reverse the downward slide Congress was facing. It will send a positive signal across India and will boost Congress' chances in upcoming polls," Gehlot said describing Patel as a pole of opposition unity and his win as the harbinger of positive electoral fortunes for the Congress.
Gujarat state leaders say Patel's historic win against the might of BJP top brass will become a turning point in the upcoming state polls.
"Ahmed Patel's win will prove a turning point for Congress in Gujarat. We are getting reports of people not appreciating the aggression the BJP put into winning one RS seat. This is bound to prove counterproductive for the BJP which lost out in the final game," Shaktisinh Gohil, senior Congress leader from Gujarat and party's spokesperson told PTI today.
Armed with the RS win of Patel, the Gujarat Congress is now in campaign mode, expecting to fire up the canvassing with some visits by Patel over coming days.
Organisationally, also Patel's win has a huge consequence considering he leads the party old guard which is perceived to be at odds with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi-led young brigade.
"The fact is that this is the first win for Congress in a long time. And it's a win against BJP's might. This establishes the supremacy of Ahmed Patel in the party organisation and also outside among opposition forces," a Congress leader said.