27 October, 2020

Silver Linings, Clouds

A sliver of hope of having a go at the new government surprises many. First of all, the Congress. Updates

Dilip Banerjee
Silver Linings, Clouds
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
As the political establishment moves into top gear for the last two rounds of polling in Lok Sabha 2004, the Congress is in a far better frame of mind than it was in the first half of the electoral exercise. Buoyed by mid-poll assessments which show the NDA falling short of a majority, it sees two post-electoral possibilities: the best-case scenario of a Congress-led government, or the more likely one of a seriously weakened NDA government whose lifespan is coterminous with Atal Behari Vajpayee's prime ministership. Either way, the party thinks the distance between the NDA and the Congress-led alliance is closing. At the AICC headquarters on 24 Akbar Road, feelgood is palpable: cadres are fired up, hitherto somnolent geriatric leaders want a hand in campaigning, a shadow cabinet is being hotly debated and a tally of 250-plus for the Congress alliance is touted as achievable. With a sense of urgency and optimism, the Congress is preparing for a final thrust on May 5 and 10.

"The optimism derives from our own internal assessment of the first two phases of the elections," says...
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