Assembly Polls: Rahul Gandhi sets 150-seat target for Congress in Karnataka

Assembly Polls: Rahul Gandhi sets 150-seat target for Congress in Karnataka
AICC leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday gave the party’s Karnataka unit a target of winning at least 150 seats in the assembly elections due in a year in a stern message to party leaders to set aside their differences and work hand in hand for a Congress victory.

He would not want to see the party coming to power by a thin margin, but by a huge lead in the number of seats, the former AICC president said, addressing senior Congress leaders at the party office in Bengaluru.

In the polls to the 224-member assembly in 2018, the Congress, which was ruling then, had emerged the second largest, winning 80 seats in the 2018 assembly polls, while the BJP emerged single largest winning 104 seats.

Though the Congress had recorded the largest vote share of 38.04%, that had not translated into seats. The BJP, which was short of a majority, came to power in 2019 after 17 MLAs from JD(S) and Congress switched sides.

The Congress has been upbeat ever since it turned in an impressive show in the recent urban local body polls, legislative council elections and the bypolls in October in which it wrested a seat from the BJP in chief minister Basavaraj Bommai’s home district of Haveri.

Gandhi questioned the credibility of the state’s BJP regime, calling it as the one not elected by people, but the one that came about after the BJP usurped power through money and manipulation.

The party did not have much time as the polls are just about a year away, Gandhi said, and offered to come as many times to Karnataka as the party wanted to take the party to great heights in the elections.

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He told the leaders that the party was aware who was working hard and would recognise and reward such people with tickets to contest elections. One’s own hard work and merit will be the criterion for his or her rise in the Congress, he added.

The AICC leader took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying people of Karnataka will laugh at his claims of giving a corruption free government when the BJP regime in the state faces charges of demanding a 40% commission in government contracts.

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