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congress: Votes cast, Cong big dreams depend on two small states | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The voting day in Uttarakhand and Goa marks possibly the most crucial one for Congress in the post-2019 phase, with the party’s viability as a potent political player and its positioning as the lead anti-BJP force hinging on its performance in the two states.
Congress is looking to wrest power from arch-rival BJP in Dehradun and Panaji, which will decide if the party has the resilience to beat Modi-led BJP in a head-on clash. Its repeated failures where many regional parties have managed to overcome the Hindutva challenge have diminished Congress’s stature in the last couple of years.
While the upcoming Punjab assembly polls are a critical test for Congress for various reasons, especially in view of AAP‘s presence as a rival, Goa and Uttarakhand, with just seven Lok Sabha seats, carry political significance disproportionate to their tiny size. A success for Congress will instill confidence in the party management as well as workers that it can use anti-incumbency against BJP and negotiate the obstacles of polarisation, BJP’s organisational muscle and Modi’s leadership. But a failure here will be debilitating for Congress and will reinforce the existing perception about the party’s vulnerabilities.
Though Congress sounds positive about its prospects in the two states, with regular feedback about strong anti-incumbency against BJP and its own acceptability among voters, it is only a win that will convince the observers, given Congress’s travails in recent times.
A bigger challenge for Congress looms on February 20 when Punjab votes to elect its new government. The flux that the state Congress has been since the outbreak of dissidence against then CM Amarinder Singh early last year and his eviction later, has seen AAP emerge from nowhere as a serious challenger. For Congress which has declared CM Charanjit Channi as its next leadership candidate, much is riding on whether it can stall AAP and stay ahead of the Arvind Kejriwal outfit.
A success for AAP could trigger turbulence in Gujarat where Kejriwal’s independent foray to disturb the existing bipolar polity between BJP and Congress depends on denting the latter’s supportbase.

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