India

Congress wants workforce devoted to polls: Karti Chidambaram

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Elections at the moment are a 24×7/365 day phenomena and the Congress occasion must have an election preparedness committee with a basic secretary, whose sole activity is to be election-ready, Lok Sabha member from Sivaganga Karti Chidambaram stated on Sunday.

The Lok Sabha MP, who had earlier endorsed senior occasion chief Kapil Sibal’s important evaluation of Congress’ efficiency within the just lately concluded Assembly election in Bihar, in an unique interview to The Hindu urged that the occasion ought to put in place a plan that may sort out “BJP’s well-oiled election machine”.

Bargaining chip

“There is this new terminology called strike rate that has come into electoral politics. Our strike rate seems to be lower than that of our allies in elections. So these factors are being used now by our potential allies in the upcoming elections to browbeat us into contesting lesser or a limited number of seats. That is not necessarily true because each State election is different,” Mr. Chidambaram stated.

“Congress is not just a mere addition but a multiplier. In Tamil Nadu, for example, we bring greater value when we are in an alliance compared to when we contest alone,” he added.

Also learn: Post Bihar, Congress might discover it tough in bargains for seats

The MP from Tamil Nadu admitted that Congress’ efficiency in two consecutive Lok Sabha elections (2014 and 2019) has not been “stellar” — cumulatively profitable lower than 100 seats — and desires a powerful counter technique.

“It is imperative for us to understand that the BJP is a well-oiled election machine in terms of preparedness, resources, planning, social media campaign and data. To counter it, we need to have a well thought-out strategy which can’t be rolled out just before the elections. It has to be something which needs to be done well in advance,” Mr. Chidambaram stated.

Ideas want traction

He argued that election campaigns want time for traction and cited the instance of Congress’ pre-poll promise of NYAY [nyuntam aay yojana].

Nyay or the minimal revenue help scheme might have delivered within the Hindi heartland States if it was rolled out four-five months previous to the Lok Sabha elections, he stated.

“I think it was announced too late and it didn’t actually seep into the psyche and the mental space of the average voter. If the Nyay scheme was announced four or five months earlier and our campaign was centred around that scheme, maybe we would have had better results.”

Arguing for preserving the method of candidate choice and alliances separate from bigger election methods, Mr. Chidambaram stated, “I would like to see a full time election preparedness committee, headed perhaps by a general secretary-elections.”

“The general secretary-elections should have a 100-day marker for every State before a potential notification of elections and a 100-day roll out plan to communicate what the Congress stands for. It is purely about communicating the agenda to the electorate in advance,” the MP stated.



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