RepublicWorld had learned exclusively that noted Harvard Professor and election strategist Steve Jarding has come on board to manage the Congress party’s 2019 election. Congress President Rahul Gandhi met Jarding during his recently concluded Europe tour, sources in London confirmed. Having already presented a basic proposal, Jarding’s SJB Strategies International will be signing the contract soon.
Sources also confirm that Jarding’s core international team will be camping in India from September onwards and will be kicking off the campaign from October. But it will wait and watch for the full campaign to take shape.
The initial strategy devised is for the Congress party to focus on what is being termed as ‘winnable seats’. Having been reduced to it’s worst position ever to 44 seats in Lok Sabha in 2014, Congress party today rules in only two states and shares power in one other state and union territory each. Suffice to say the party’s base has shrunk like never before and hence it has devised to not spread itself too thin. In the current political scenario, Congress has to balance the aspiration of the regional parties too, which are demanding their pound of flesh, for a greater alliance against the BJP.
The Congress, a source revealed, is focussing on seats where it is in a direct fight with the ruling BJP. ‘The party believes it has recovered since 2014 and can strongly take on the BJP in direct fights,’ says an insider.
The focus will be on the north and west India to take on the BJP directly and rely on alliances in the east and south India.
Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand are states where the Congress will focus on its fight with the BJP. In Uttar Pradesh, it will play second fiddle to the more potent SP-BSP alliance and will rely on the ‘Mahagatbhandhan’. While in Bihar too, a larger coalition is being eyed.
Out of these 120-130 seats, the Congress hopes to wrest 50-60, owing to the anti-incumbency for the BJP, and hence at least better its own mark of 44 from 2014!
Party’s new election consultant, Jarding will be watching the state polls in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh later this year closely to firm up the strategy for 2019 general elections. Results in these 3 states will be key for the INC, and whether it can overturn successive BJP governments in the latter two. Poor results in these states, so close to the general elections, will severely impact the party’s national fortunes.
While Jarding is a respected election strategist in the US, for his work with the Democrats and has also helped leaders in other countries, a national election, with the complexity of Indian politics to boot, is set to be his biggest challenge yet.
Get today’s and stay updated with latest news headlines. Follow the latest India news and never miss out on any updates from the world of Politics, Economy, Elections etc. Download the app or visit Republic World to watch Live TV & get all the breaking news from India.