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Latest NewsCongress in poll gear, to lay special focus on 255 winnable Lok...

Congress in poll gear, to lay special focus on 255 winnable Lok Sabha seats


New Delhi : The Congress on Thursday hit poll gear with a meeting of top leaders finalising a strategy for “special and heightened focus” on 255 Lok Sabha seats, early finalisation of election candidates, establishment of war rooms in every state and broad agreement on seat sharing with partners by month-end.

The meeting of party general secretaries, state chiefs and in-charges, chaired by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and attended by former chief Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Vadra, held detailed discussions on plans for the 2024 General Election and agreed on broad parameters, including special focus on fundraising and party discipline, and a clear narrative that anti-BJP INDIA bloc can win.

At the meeting, the name of previously announced “Bharat Nyay Yatra” was changed to “Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra” after the leaders, by a show of hands, felt the goodwill generated by Rahul's yatra should be capitalised in the second edition of the outreach starting January 14.

At the three-and-a-half-hour meeting, Rahul is learnt to have asked leaders who wanted the term “Jodo” added to Bharat Nyaya Yatra description to raise their hands. Everyone did.

The 66-day outreach, which AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh described as “political but not electoral” will span 6,700 km on foot and buses, with sources saying Congress leadership would be in Assam on January 22, the day of consecration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

The meeting also focused on LS poll preparations with the Congress leadership identifying 255 parliamentary constituencies for “out and out focus”. “These are seats where the Congress sees sure chances of victory and wants to leave nothing to chance,” said a source privy to developments.

Privately, party leaders said as part of the seat-sharing deal with INDIA allies, the Congress would contest “much more than half the 545 Lok Sabha seats”.

“We hope for early sealing of seat-sharing deals within INDIA, perhaps by January end. Everyone wants to complete this exercise,” said a Congress source with , Delhi and West Bengal posing a major challenge to agreements within the alliance.

In Bengal, INDIA constituent CPM has said it won't ally with the TMC, another alliance partner, while the Congress waits to make its move. In Delhi, a deal between the Congress and AAP does not look implausible.

In Punjab, the state Congress unit remains vehemently opposed to a truck with AAP. Punjab Congress in-charge Devendra Yadav, and state chief Raja Warring met Rahul after the AICC meeting today and deliberated on the coalition strategy, with Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Partap Bajwa later saying: “We are confident that the Congress leadership will not do anything that will undermine the party in Punjab. The state unit has already told the leadership it is not in favour of an alliance with AAP in the state.” It is further learnt the party could finalise screening committees to shortlist LS poll candidates as early as this week. “All states were asked today to set up state poll committees and send names of potential LS candidates to the leadership,” said a source.

Sources said Rahul strongly stressed “it is not difficult to defeat the BJP”. He also asked “habitual offenders to honour party discipline and not make out-of-line comments”.

AP CM's sister merges party with congress

YS Sharmila, daughter of former Andhra Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and YSR Telangana Party founder, joined the Congress after merging her party. The sister of Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy said it was her father's dream to see Rahul as the PM.

Remarks against Pm: SC junks Khera's plea

The SC on Thursday dismissed Congress leader Pawan Khera's petition challenging an Allahabad High Court order refusing to quash criminal proceedings against him for his alleged objectionable remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Rahul's January 14 yatra rechristened

Rahul Gandhi's previously announced “Bharat Nyay Yatra” starting January 14 renamed “Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra” after leaders said goodwill generated by previous outreach be capitalised in the second edition. The 66-day outreach will begin from Manipur, cover 15 states and 100 LS segments before culminating in Mumbai. It will span 6,700 km on foot and buses.

Displeasure over poor fundraising

Rahul and Priyanka expressed displeasure at poor fund generation for the party through its ‘Donate for Desh' campaign with Rahul asking leaders to reach out to people and raise more funds. It is learnt, Rs 11 crore has been collected from 2.5 lakh donors so far

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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