Maken in Punjab, DK Shivakumar in Goa to manage Congress' post-poll moves

Uttar Pradesh
Security person stand guard as citizens wait to cast their vote at a polling booth, during the second phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, in Moradabad, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Taking lessons from the 2017 Assembly elections when in two states the Congress could not form the government despite being the single-largest party, the party has asked Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to camp in Dehradun and senior leader Ajay Maken in Punjab.

The party anticipates a hung House in both the states and therefore is taking steps to keep its flock together and throw its hat in the ring.

Apart from Ajay Maken, the party has also sent its spokesperson Pawan khera to Punjab.

Earlier in the day, the Congress dispatched three observers to Manipur to oversee the post-poll scenario.

In 2017, the party even after being the single-largest party, had failed to form the government in Manipur. Hence, this time it has assigned T.S. Singhdeo, senior minister in the Chhattisgarh government, Vincent Pala and Mukul Wasnik to Manipur.

The Congress has asked all its observers and party in-charges to keep tab on all its newly elected MLAs and inform the central leadership about the same on the counting day on March 10. This is being done to keep its flock together in all the five states which went to polls, said sources.

Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar has been sent to Goa to monitor and strategise there. Sources in the Congress said that he is going to camp in Goa for three days to ensure that the age-old party, which missed a chance to form the government by a whisker in the last Assembly elections, does not commit the same mistakes again. Shivakumar is going to stay put in Goa till the new government is formed, sources added.

Apart from the senior observers, the party has also another set of leaders in states where the party is anticipating a close contest or hung Assembly. P. Chidambaram is a senior observer of Goa, Jairam Ramesh in Manipur, Mohan Prakash in Uttarakhand, Bhupesh Baghel in Uttar Pradesh and Ajay Maken is in Punjab. The party in-charges have also been asked to remain in the respective states from March 10.

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