Gandhis fail to inspire Congress, people in J&K; unable to match Modi-Shah charishma


New Delhi: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Shakti Sthal - the memorial of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, on her martyrdom day in New Delhi on Oct.31, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

The fight between Congress and the BJP which was fought across the country has now reached a critical phase in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the election has reached the final phase in the state. While BJP looks upbeat with PM Modi gathering massive crowds across the state in his rallies, the Congress on the other hand has been been handicapped because of the lack of star leaders in it’s ranks. The party which has banked on the charisma of the Gandhi family has been further jolted by the fact that both Sonia Gandhi as well as Rahul Gandhi are failing to attract crowds, and convincing people to vote for the party.

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In fact, the state party leaders are now relying on their own strength, local party leaders, and workers to connect with people. It is no denying the fact that it would be a difficult task for the Congress to regroup, and stage a fight in Jammu and Kashmir barring few constituencies as the party is facing strong anti-incumbency which has happened across the country.

The failure of the Gandhis is complete opposite to the success of BJP leaders particularly Narendra Modi, and Amit Shah who have not only managed to galvanize the party in Jammu but also managed to put in a fight in Kashmir valley where it had little presence. Compared to the moribund Congress, the BJP has put it’s entire leadership on job in in J&K as the party wants to win maximum number of seats in the state, and even set the ambitious target of getting majority in the state. In comparison, the Congress is down and out, and this can be gauged from the fact that Congress leaders campaigning in the election are not even putting up the photos of Sonia and Rahul in the hoardings and banners.

The local leadership has realized that there is strong anger among the people against the party, and they are now preferring to keep Sonia, and Rahul out of the loop while canvassing. The lack of a star campaigner has put the party in doldrums as BJP on the other hand is holding nothing back in attacking both the Congress, and the National Conference. Sonia Gandhi’s rally in Jammu in which very few people turned up is also a strong signal that Congress will face strong turbulence as people have made their made at least in Jammu province to support Modi led BJP. The politics of change represented by Modi right now has no challenge from the Congress. The local parties like NC, and PDP have their own support base but wherever there are swing voters, and turnout it large then BJP could benefit in the state.

The BJP strategy this time is to consolidate the Hindu voters in Jammu while mobilizing the Muslims to vote for change represented by PM Modi. It is also expecting that except the core supporters of NC, and PDP, the Muslims could also vote for the party as has happened across the country where voters have polled for Modi cutting across all lines. The Modi-Shah duo have given tickets to some good candidates in Kashmir as well and given the large number of people coming out to vote it would not be surprising if the party wins seats in Kashmir valley as well. In such a scenario, the BJP could play a crucial role in forming the next government while the Congress sits back, and tries to learn from it’s mistakes in J&K.