Congress deputes post-poll observers for Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur to keep flock together

Congress deputes post-poll observers for Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur to keep flock together
The Congress on Tuesday deputed senior leaders for poll management ahead of election results in Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur, party sources said. While Karnataka Congress chief D K Sivakumar will be special observer in Goa, party general secretary Mukul Wasnik and Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo besides Vincent Pala have been deputed in Manipur for post-poll management, the sources said.

General secretary Ajay Maken and party spokesperson Pawan Khera have been deployed as party special observers for Punjab, the sources added. While Maken will leave on Wednesday, Khera has already reached Chandigarh.

Rajya Sabha member Deepinder Singh Hooda has also left for Dehradun after he was asked by the party leadership to reach there for management of legislators in case of a hung assembly. Hooda will work out modalities with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel once the results are out on March 10. Hooda has reached Uttarakhand.

The party’s in-charges and observers in various poll-bound states will also be stations at the state headquarters ahead of results.

The move is aimed at keeping the Congress flock together in case of a hung assembly in Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Punjab.

The appointment of special observers is part of the Congress strategy to work out government formations in states where no party gets a clear majority.

The sources said plans are also afoot in the party to shift its newly-elected legislators to a safe location in Congress-ruled states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also learnt to have seen the arrangements in place for its legislators in the desert state in case they need to be shifted there.

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The sources said the MLAs will be kept at “safe locations” to prevent what they said “possible attempts by others to poach them”.

The Congress is not taking any chances this time as had been done during the last Goa elections when despite emerging as the single largest party, it failed to form its government there.

Exit polls have predicted a tight race in Uttarakhand and Goa, while most of them have projected a victory for the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab.

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