Bengaluru: Congress panel looks to regain lost seats

The party will also carefully analyse the prospects of its 126 incumbent MLAs.

Bengaluru: An 11-member core panel of top Congress leaders, at a meeting on Monday chaired by party general secretary Digvijay Singh, decided to identify winnable candidates in 100 of the 224 Assembly constituencies in the state where the party had lost in the previous polls in 2013.

The leaders also decided to woo the upper castes even while retaining the AHINDA communities-Dalits, minorities and backward classes- to outmanoeuvre the rival BJP and JD(S).

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle after the meeting, which was attended by Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dr G. Parameshwar, KPCC working president Dinesh Gundurao, ministers K.J George, D.K. Shivakumar and M.B. Patil, a senior party leader said: “Our focus is on beating anti-incumbency and to achieve this, we will identify winnable candidates in the 100 constituencies we lost in 2013. Since these are Opposition held seats, their legislators will face anti-incumbency and if we focus on these seats, our strike rate can improve," the source explained.

The party will also carefully analyse the prospects of its 126 incumbent MLAs. "We know there are quite a few who might be defeated due to various factors, so we will suggest various measures to improve their chances. If that too does not work, the party will ask its alternative candidate to launch his/her campaign at least six to eight months ahead of the Assembly polls," the source explained.

The source further claimed the party will aggressively woo the upper castes and microscopic backward classes. "Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's campaign has so far has been perceived as anti-upper caste, this needs to change in the public mind.

The party will have to attract upper castes by launching various schemes," the source added.

Giving credence to Dr Parameshwar's claim that 20 legislators from other parties would be joining the Congress ahead of the 2018 polls, Congress leaders on Monday decided to aggressively woo leaders from other parties.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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