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Will Congress change the order to win future polls?

Saturday, 28 June 2014 - 12:30pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: Zee Research Group

 A month and a half after facing a drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, Congress is likely to go for a major rejig anytime soon. With six major states going for polls in the next one year, the oldest party needs to adopt a different strategy.  

In run up to the recently concluded general elections, both BJP and Congress had applied a different approach while giving responsibility of states to leaders. In the 2014 polls, BJP primarily adopted one state, one person policy. On the other hand, Congress selected ten leaders to oversee all states. 

For 35 states/UTs the saffron party has 33 leaders to handle their issues. Prabhat Jha (Delhi and Andhra Pradesh) and Tapir Gao (Manipur and Nagaland) are the only leaders from BJP heading two states each. 

Among the notable names who are heading the states in BJP are Amit Shah (UP), Ananth Kumar (MP), S. S. Ahluwalia (Assam), Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Maharashtra), Shanta Kumar (Punjab) and Varun Gandhi (West Bengal). 

In Congress, ten leaders are heading the states for the party, but with an unequal pattern. For example, Luizinho Faleiro has the charge of seven states (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura) for Congress. Similarly, CP Joshi (Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Assam, Bihar and West Bengal), Gurudas Kamat (Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Gujarat and Rajasthan), Mukul Wasnik (Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu) and Shakeel Ahmad (Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh) are in charge of four states each. Madhusudan Mistry is Congress’s in-charge in UP and the only one to handle a single state. 

Interestingly, while in BJP four women leaders (Smriti Irani, Bijoya Chakravarty, Arti Mehra and Poonam Mahajan) are tasked with the responsibility of handling states, in Congress Ambika Soni is the only female to take care of party affairs in states. The analysis has found another interesting difference between the country’s two prominent parties. While the average age of state prabharis in BJP stands at 55.65, in Congress it’s 61.94. The BJP list of state in-charges has three members less than 40 years of age, but the youngest person in the Congress list is Mukul Wasnik who is 54 years old.

The oldest leader in Congress list is Ambika Soni (71), while in the saffron party Shanta Kumar (79) is the most aged person.

YOUNG PERFORM BETTER
The Congress can implement BJP’s formula to score in states going to polls in the next one year. For instance, BJP has done pretty well in states where they had put in young faces in charge. Dharmendra Pradhan (Bihar), Poonam Mahajan (Dadra & Nagar Haveli), Smriti Irani (Goa) and Varun Gandhi (West Bengal) were able to put up a good show for the party in the recently concluded polls.

On the other hand, performance of senior Congress leaders was thin in states where they had been given charge. Digvijay Singh, the state head of Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka, could not help the party’s chance in polls. Likewise, Ambika Soni, who heads Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Uttarakhand, surprisingly couldn’t win a single seat for the party.

In the next one year, elections are going to take place in Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir. In four out of six states, Congress is part of the government.

Exhibit1: BJP’s State In-charge




Sr No

State In-charge

Name

Age

1

Andaman & Nicobar

L. Ganeshan

69

2

Andhra Pradesh

Prabhat Jha

57

3

Arunachal Pradesh

Bijoya Chakravarty

74

4

Assam

S. S. Ahluwalia

62

5

Bihar

Dharmendra Pradhan

44

6

Chandigarh

Arti Mehra

51

7

Chhattisgarh

Jagat Prakash Nadda

53

8

Dadra Nagar Haveli

Poonam Mahajan

33

9

Daman & Diu

Kirit Somaiya

60

10

Delhi

Prabhat Jha

57

11

Goa

Smriti Irani

38

12

Gujarat

Om Prakash Mathur

61

13

Haryana

Jagdish Mukhi

71

14

Himachal Pradesh

Balbir Punj

64

15

Jammu & Kashmir

Avinash Rai Khanna

53

16

Jharkhand

Vinod Pandey

58

17

Karnataka

Thawarchand Gehlot

66

18

Kerala

Bandaru Dattatreya

67

19

Lakshadweep

Krishna Das P.K.

50

20

Madhya Pradesh

Ananth Kumar

54

21

Maharashtra

Rajiv Pratap Rudy

52

22

Manipur

Tapir Gao

49

23

Meghalaya

Kiren Rijiju

42

24

Mizoram

Nalin S. Kohli

41

25

Nagaland

Tapir Gao

49

26

Odisha

Arun Singh

53

27

Puducherry

K. Laxman

55

28

Punjab

Shanta Kumar

79

29

Rajasthan

Kaptan Singh Solanki

75

30

Sikkim

Dineshanad Goswami

56

31

Tamil Nadu

P. Muralidhar Rao 

54

32

Tripura

Vijay Jolly

53

33

Uttarakhand

Radha Mohan Singh

64

34

Uttar Pradesh

Amit Shah

50

35

West Bengal

Varun Gandhi

34

 

Average Age of State Prabharis

55.65

 

Exhibit2: Congress’ State In-charge




Sr No

State In-charge

Name

Age

1

Andaman & Nicobar

CP Joshi

63

2

Andhra Pradesh

Digvijay Singh

67

3

Arunachal Pradesh

Luizinho Faleiro

63

4

Assam

CP Joshi

63

5

Bihar

CP Joshi

63

6

Chandigarh

Shakeel Ahmad

58

7

Chhattisgarh

B.K. Hariprasad

60

8

Dadra Nagar Haveli

Gurudas Kamat

59

9

Daman & Diu

Gurudas Kamat

59

10

Delhi

Shakeel Ahmad

58

11

Goa

Digvijay Singh

67

12

Gujarat

Gurudas Kamat

59

13

Haryana

Shakeel Ahmad

58

14

Himachal Pradesh

Ambika Soni

71

15

Jammu & Kashmir

Ambika Soni

71

16

Jharkhand

B.K. Hariprasad

60

17

Karnataka

Digvijay Singh

67

18

Kerala

Mukul Wasnik

54

19

Lakshwadweep

Mukul Wasnik

54

20

Madhya Pradesh

Mohan Prakash

64

21

Maharashtra

Mohan Prakash

64

22

Manipur

Luizinho Faleiro

63

23

Meghalaya

Luizinho Faleiro

63

24

Mizoram

Luizinho Faleiro

63

25

Nagaland

Luizinho Faleiro

63

26

Odisha

B.K. Hariprasad

60

27

Pudduchery

Mukul Wasnik

54

28

Punjab

Shakeel Ahmad

58

29

Rajasthan

Gurudas Kamat

59

30

Sikkim

Luizinho Faleiro

63

31

Tamilnadu

Mukul Wasnik

54

32

Tripura

Luizinho Faleiro

63

33

Uttarakhand

Ambika Soni

71

34

Uttar Pradesh

Madhusudan Mistry

69

35

West Bengal

CP Joshi

6

 

Average Age of State Prabharis

61.9

   

 

 




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