In Gujarat, where there is blatant anti-incumbency, the Cong has a good chance of winning state elections: Venugopal, K. C.


On Wednesday, Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal claimed the ruling BJP in Gujarat was facing a “clear cut anti-incumbency” ahead of the state Assembly polls due later this year.

The chances of Congress forming the next government are “very bright” as people are fed up with the present ruling dispensation in the state, Venugopal told reporters.

He was speaking after holding a 12-hour marathon meeting with Congress leaders in the presence of Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior observer for Gujarat elections Ashok Gehlot over plans and preparations for the elections.

Venugopal also targeted the BJP over the recent hooch tragedy in Botad and Ahmedabad and various drug smuggling cases in the state.

He called the Gujarat government “corrupt and ineffective” over its move to change the entire cabinet last year and, more recently, snatch away portfolios of two senior cabinet ministers.

He said Congress has decided on its 90-day election program beginning Wednesday and will show it is highly serious about the polls, which it will fight unitedly and aggressively.

“We assessed and analysed that here there is a clear cut anti-incumbency. In the previous election, there was a feeling that the Congress did not do anything, and it will be a poor show for the Congress. But what happened was that we lost Gujarat by a margin of a few seats (in the 182-member Assembly),” he said.

“This year, there is more anti-incumbency in the minds of the people. We are sure that we are going to form government in Gujarat…Our chances are very bright,” the senior Congress leader said.

Nine months ago, he noted that they changed the entire cabinet, including the then chief minister.

“I saw that two days ago, two of the ministers lost their portfolios. This means they are themselves in agreement that the government is totally corrupt and ineffective,” he said.

Otherwise, what is the point of changing all the ministers, changing the portfolios of two ministers just three months before elections? He asked.
“The last 27 years of BJP rule has created a total disappointment in the minds of the people…If you ask the people, they are very much fed up with this government,” he said.

Venugopal called Gujarat the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the “prime land of India,” which the Congress is proud of.

“When we were in power here 27 years ago, we showed to the country the path of development, social engineering, and other works,” he said.
The Congress has decided on a straightforward cut 90-day program in the countdown to the elections, he said.

“From today 12 noon onwards, our senior leaders will sit and chalk out the programmes from day one to day 90. We will show the people that Congress is highly serious in this election. We will fight unitedly, aggressively,” he said.

Attacking the government over the hooch tragedy, Venugopal said, “in the last 15 years, illicit liquor claimed 750 lives in Gujarat.” Is this the BJP model of Gujarat? he sought to know.

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