NEW DELHI: Grappling with the challenge of electoral slide, leadership issues and infighting, Congress will face a litmus test in the five Assembly elections. The party is looking to form governments in Kerala and Assam, with an eye on improving its electoral performance in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
The Assembly elections fought under Congress leader Rahul Gandhi would also have an impact on the presidential elections in the party scheduled to be held after these elections. In Kerala and Assam, the Congress is the main opposition party but in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, it is a junior player contesting in alliance with the DMK and the Left front, respectively.
“These elections are important keeping in mind that presidential elections in the party will be held right after these. A good performance in Kerala, Assam and Puducherry, and improving the tally in TN and Bengal will in a way give ammunition to Team Rahul members to target rebel party leaders, who have been questioning the party losing ground connect,” said a party leader.
In Kerala, which has a trend of voting alternate parties to power, a win for the Congress-led UDF is important, keeping in mind that Rahul is an MP from Wayanad. He has been extensively campaigning in the state after the incumbent LDF government’s mediocre performance in the local body elections. After the demise of Tarun Gogoi, the party has lost a popular face in Assam. It is banking on the sentiments against the CAA and the NRC in the state.
The Congress has entered into an alliance with Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF, eyeing Muslim votes. The BJP government in the state is banking on its five-year development work to come back to power. With Bengal expected to witness a high-decibel election where the BJP and the ruling TMC are engaged in a pitched battle, the Congress-Left alliance is looking to turn it into a triangular contest with the Indian Secular Front of Furfura sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui also joining them to consolidate minority votes in its favour.