THE ALLIANCE puzzle is yet to be solved, the much talked about the common minimum programme is only half done, and the poll campaign theme and slogan are far from final. Even as the Election Commission announced the Lok Sabha poll schedule on Sunday, the Congress, which leads the Opposition block, is yet to put together the nuts and bolts of electioneering.
The Opposition had appeared to have gained an upper hand — perhaps for the first time since 2014 — in the immediate aftermath of the BJP’s defeat in the assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. But the Pulwama terror attack and Balakot air strike have derailed its momentum.
While the BJP is seeking to set a nationalistic discourse, the Congress is trying to bring the focus back on the Rafale deal, bank fraud cases, bread-and-butter issues like the job and agrarian crisis, and governance-related problems.
Top Congress leaders said the party’s campaign would take final shape in the next ten days or so. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is meeting in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Party leaders said they would officially blow the poll bugle from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.
But alliance-building is proving to be a difficult task. The seat-sharing arrangement with the NCP and other parties in Maharashtra, JD(S) in Karnataka, RJD in Bihar, and CPI(M) in West Bengal is yet to be finalised.