Will Congress be able to put up a fight as 2024 beckons?

Congress panels ready to strategize for 2024 polls; but will the party be able to gauge the scene well is yet unknown

Year 2024 is shining bright on the political outfits that are hoping to make big gains during the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for that year. Hopeful than anyone else is the grand old party, which has been looking for a breakthrough in order to set aside all losses and ridicule it had been amassing over the past few years.

It seems to be with a goal that the Congress party has put together a Task Force for 2024, and this group is expected to knot together the party’s strategy for the next national elections. Though the Congress had tried to rope in famed poll strategist Prashant Kishore in its bid to return to power at the Centre post-2024 elections, it sadly did not work out for the party. Prashant Kishore went his way with his own plans.

But then with an eye on 2024, the Congress has managed to make a former associate of Kishore stay back. Kishore’s former associate Sunil Kanugolu has been tasked with the party’s election management. Further, two dissenting voices within the party have also been given plum posts in the party’s run up to Lok Sabha polls. The Political Affairs group announced by the party has, apart from Rahul Gandhi, two crucial dissenters — Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma.

Task Force for 2024 polls leaves G23 out

The setting up of the Task Force-2024 could be seen as a development that had taken shape after the Chintan Shivir organised in Rajasthan’s Udaipur with an eye on the forward path.

Significantly, the Task Force — 2024 has given the miss to any of the G-23 members. The G-23, short for Group of 23 dissenting members had written to party boss Sonia Gandhi back in 2020 urging her to bring about a sweeping revamp at the organisational level and also an overhaul in leadership. The omission of any of the G23 leaders makes it obvious that Sonia Gandhi and team are yet to forgive them for dissent.

The Political Affairs Group, to be helmed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has big names such as Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Digvijaya Singh, KC Venugopal and Jitendra Singh. Meanwhile, the Task Force-2024 comprises P Chidambaram, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Mukul Wasnik, Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal, Ajay Maken and Randeep Surjewala. The Task Force has its mission cut out in terms of specific tasks related to organization, communication and media, outreach, finance and election management. And each of these portfolios will have dedicated teams working under them.

The strategy meet of the Congress party also has decided on having a political affairs committee in every state and the Centre. This will do away with the parliamentary board proposal that was mooted by the G23.

Congress: Gearing up for 2024

Party needs to read the challenges of 2024

What role would the G23 play if they decide on staying within the party fold is nobody’s guess. The panels with fancy names are good, and would work for the party if the party decides to see things in the right perspective. Grabbing vote share that has been lost and gone still remains a humongous task. The rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been doing all it can to make their position stay unruffled. The saffron outfit, which has tasted power in the true sense of the term, would gun for more seats and continued occupation of the ruling benches in the Lok Sabha.

It is here that the Congress party has much work to be done. Getting back to people’s minds is no easy task. Sonia Gandhi and the other leaders tasked with the strategizing part would need to do much homework to put up a fight. Let’s hope they would do that, so as to make the election scene a level-playing field.

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