Apprehending Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi’s influence may benefit his party in Jammu, the Congress has termed pre-poll alliance with National Conference or Peoples Democratic Party a need of the hour.
The party insiders told a local news agency, KNS that Congress is weighing options available to it for a pre-poll alliance for the assembly elections scheduled to take place next year. A Congress minister pleading anonymity told KNS the Modi wave in Jammu has become a cause of concern for the Congress high command in Delhi.
Mired in last year’s cross-voting controversy, the BJP considers Modi’s influence will leverage its political standing in the state and help it retain the seats being eyed by the Congress in the crucial 2014 Assembly polls.
Congress insiders say that if Jammu is swayed by Modi’s influence, it will really hamper their party performance in the coming Assembly elections. Another Congress minister told KNS that the party high command in Delhi should take a decision on the pre poll alliance with one of the two regional political parties, NC and PDP. “The Congress high command in Delhi should without any delay take a decision and form a policy vis-à-vis coming Parliament and assembly elections for the state. We should avail all options available to us on pre-poll alliance. This is in the interest of Congress and other regional parties in the state,” the Congress minister added.
A political commentator wishing not to be named told KNS, “No doubt, there are only two Lok Sabha seats and the Jammu can hardly impact BJP’s electoral performance at the national level but a Modi wave in Jammu in the city will certainly help BJP out from the crisis it has been in for the last many years in the state.”
Interestingly, the regional parties’ National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party’s reliability on Congress has made the politics in the state predictable and both the regional parties have also started lobbying to woe the kingmaker. Both the regional parties want to have god relations with Congress and they can hardly afford to join hands with BJP given its communal image which alienates their voters particularly in Kashmir valley.
However, how many seats will go to Congress’ in the state will depend on its electoral performance in Jammu. But with an increasing Modi wave across Jammu it seems, the Congress will to keep all its options open, if it wants to retain its position, political circles in the state believe.