Congress to cash in on poll vows, caste census in election-bound states


The Congress’ strategy in the upcoming elections in various states revolves around two key factors—poll guarantees and a focus on caste census. The recent victories in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh have provided a blueprint for the party’s approach.
In Himachal Pradesh, Congress introduced a pension scheme, while in Karnataka, it announced employment plans and initiatives targeting women voters. This same strategy is being applied in five other states.
In Madhya Pradesh, where Congress is competing against the popular Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, known as “Mama,” the party has promised to provide women with Rs 1,500 if they come to power, aiming to counter Chauhan’s Ladli Yojna programme.
During a rally in Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi pledged Rs 1,500 stipends for women, 100 units of free electricity, and subsidised cooking gas cylinders priced at Rs 500 for the people of the state. Rahul Gandhi also criticized the MP government for corruption and its treatment of tribal communities.
In Rajasthan, the Congress government has already implemented subsidies on gas cylinders, distributed smartphones, and provided free medical services to the public. In addition to these poll guarantees, Congress is placing a strong emphasis on conducting a caste census in Rajasthan, even though the election code is in effect. Rahul Gandhi has been actively campaigning among OBC (Other Backward Classes) voters, a significant voting bloc in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh. Congress aims to secure the support of OBC, SC (Scheduled Caste), ST (Scheduled Tribe), and minority voters by promoting the idea of a caste census, believing it will benefit them in the state elections.
To bolster their campaign efforts, Congress has enlisted the services of private PR agencies, such as Design Box in Rajasthan, and the same PR team that worked for them in Karnataka is managing the campaign in Madhya Pradesh.
During a recent Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, party president Kharge emphasized the importance of discipline among party leaders and the need for unity in working towards the party’s victory. Congress sees this as an opportunity to win at least three out of the four states, which would pave the way for the party in the 2024 national elections and position it as a significant force in the Indian political landscape.