The Congress party’s tally of 31 seats in Haryana has not only surprised political pundits, but also many of its leaders.
New Delhi: The Congress party’s tally of 31 seats in Haryana has not only surprised political pundits, but also many of its leaders. But what seems to have worked for the faction-ridden party in the state is some good old style localized campaign carefully crafted to avoid national issues.
The intent to focus on local issues can be seen in even the name of the campaign theme “Ibbke Congress” (This time Congress) in the local Haryanvi dialect to help connect with the masses.
Similarly, the focus in the party manifesto also was completely local with promises of reservation of 75 per cent jobs in the private sector for state youth, reservation for women in government jobs and loan waiver for farmers.
Though the faction-ridden state unit of the party began its campaign way behind the ruling BJP only on September 21 barely a month before the October 21 polls, it kept up the momentum through a relentless mass media outreach.
Throughout the campaign, an important strategy was to keep drawing a comparison between the performances of the Khattar government and the earlier Congress dispensation under Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
One of the first parts of the campaign to be kicked off was by Haryana PCC chief Kumari Selja who launched a special programme called “Pehle Report Fir Vote” where voters were asked to seek a report from BJP leaders on the work done by them in the past five years.
It announced a toll-free number where the electorate could call or send an SMS or WhatsApp message to share the issue on which they want to seek a report from the government.