The counting of votes on Tuesday for the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has revealed a rot in the Congress that has been decimated to a big zero. While the shameful performance of Congress is not confined to Surat, what has become a major concern for the century-old party is that many of its veteran leaders could not succeed in the civic polls.
Some of the bigshots in Surat Congress who have been winning in election after election, including the Leader of Opposition in SMC Praful Togadia, could not save their seats this time.
The differences with the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti over the distribution of tickets and the delimitation in the city have led to the failure of the Congress’ political strategy.
Congress wiped out
The Gujarat government approved delimitation in the year 2020, with the city limits being expanded. At that time, it was clear that the next municipal elections would be a challenge for Congress. The new delimitation further aggravated the crisis of the Congress leaders who had been winning their seats for years.
The way the various constituencies were included, it became clear that the Congress leaders will have to work very hard this time to win.
The Congress leadership failed to come up with an alternative plan in time to get out of this situation.
Poor political strategy
Besides, differences with the PAAS over ticket distribution affected Congress’s winning prospects at the last minute.
The Congress was supposed to woo the new voters who have been included after the delimitation process on one side and resolve its differences with PAAS leaders on the other. But the party failed miserably on both fronts. This is the reason that leaders including Praful Togadia had to taste defeat.
Notably, there are 120 seats in 30 wards of Surat Municipal Corporation. Of which the BJP has captured 93 seats. While the Aam Aadmi Party, which contested for the first time, has bagged 27 seats. Surprisingly, Congress, which won 36 seats in the 2015 elections, did not win a single seat this time.
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