09 March, 2021

Will You Be My Date?

Sharad Pawar, Mayawati, Karunanidhi. At this rate, the party may surprise itself in April. Updates

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Will You Be My Date?
Has the BJP's India Shining blitzkrieg dimmed Congress' hopes of a comeback? No, going by the upbeat mood among Congress president Sonia Gandhi's stormtroopers who seem to belie BJP's hyper-confidence. The look of abject defeat the party wore after the assembly polls is dissipating. Congressmen say the party cannot but improve its tally in Lok Sabha 2004 and the BJP cannot but lose ground. It's a question of "arithmetic".

"Look at the map of India and tell me where the NDA stands a chance of substantial improvement," says Congress spokesperson S. Jaipal Reddy. The BJP, having reached a plateau in virtually all the states in 1999, stands to gain marginally only in Karnataka, Punjab and Assam, he points out. The Congress, on the other hand, has plenty of scope for improvement, given the pre-electoral alliances it is putting together.

In the states where it is in second position in terms of voteshare, the Congress has only 30 of a possible 184 seats. So, there's no place to go but up, say Congress strategists. (In AP, for instance, the Congress has only five of 42 seats...

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