Road to power through cities

CONGRESS URGES PAR­TY­MEN TO WORK HARD IN CITIES, PLANS MAS­SIVE CAM­PAIGNS

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - NATION - Au­rangzeb Naqsh­bandi

NEW DELHI: In a bid to dent the rul­ing BJP’s prospects in the assem­bly polls in Gu­jarat, the Congress is eye­ing cities to im­prove its tally.

Congress strate­gists have asked its lead­ers and work­ers to put in ex­tra hard work in ur­ban cen­tres where the party for­tunes have been on the de­cline for sev­eral years now.

“We know it well that our weak­est ground is ur­ban Gu­jarat… that is why we are putting ex­tra ef­forts in cities,” said a Congress leader.

Gu­jarat has eight cities — Ahmed­abad, Su­rat, Ra­jkot, Vado­dara, Bhav­na­gar, Jam­na­gar, Ju­na­gadh and Gand­hi­na­gar — and the Congress has fared badly in all the pre­vi­ous four assem­bly polls. In the 2007 state polls, it won just 5 out of the to­tal 46 seats in these eight cities.

There is a re­al­i­sa­tion among Congress lead­ers that the road to Gand­hi­na­gar goes via these eight cities. Ac­cord­ingly, the party is plan­ning mas­sive cam­paign in these ur­ban cen­tres.

Apart from meet­ings in wards and assem­bly seg­ments, the party is hold­ing spe­cial pro­grammes to woo dal­its, other back­ward castes, mi­nori­ties and women in these ar­eas.

As part of its poll strat­egy to at­tract ur­ban vot­ers, which con­sti­tute over 40% of the elec­torate, the party has come up with a “Bet­ter City, Bet­ter Life” cam­paign.

The Congress has an­nounced that that it will take mea­sures re­lated to ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, town plan­ning, slum-free cities, mega town­ships and an au­ton­o­mous traf­fic author­ity for bet­ter move­ment of ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic in the state if voted to power.

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