Poll battle lost,fight begins in Punjab Cong

The poll battle is over but a war has just begun as far as the Congress is concerned. Blindly relying on misleading poll surveys,introducing slip system to meet state party chief Amarinder Singh

Written by Sukhdeep Kaur | Chandigarh | Published: March 13, 2012 3:38:32 am

The poll battle is over but a war has just begun as far as the Congress is concerned. Blindly relying on misleading poll surveys,introducing slip system to meet state party chief Amarinder Singh,‘apolitical’ people running the show at the the party office,and a lack of consensus on candidates figure in Leader of Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal’s “chargesheet”,who met party president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday.

With the Budget session getting underway,Amarinder is likely to get an audience with Sonia only by mid-week.

Topping Bhattal’s list of factors behind the poll drubbing is the state Congress relying too much on poll surveys. “I had told senior leaders in Delhi from day one that the fight was neck-and-neck. However,apolitical people running the Punjab Congress office — majors and captains rather than seasoned politicians — totally went by misleading poll surveys and kept giving the figure of 70 seats,” Bhattal said.

Bhattal has agreed with reasons cited by Amarinder for the debacle — higher vote share for the BSP in Doaba,PPP,and rebels,fall in urban vote share and populist sops of the ruling alliance — but her list is longer. She has cited inaccessibility as a major issue. “During rallies,only workers who were issued slips could approach Amarinder. This alienated both party workers and voters,” she said.

As per her analysis,of the 46 seats the Congress won,34 were those where there was a consensus between her and Amarinder on candidates.

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