Six states will be facing the assembly election in the next one year. Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat would have elections this year, while Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and MP are queued for polls in 2018. Congress has already started with its election campaign and are adopting various strategies to lure the voters.
One of the strategy of Congress is to build linkage with the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working closely at the grassroots in the poll-bound states. According to the statement of a senior Congress leader to the ET, Congress want to have a linkage with civil society in all the six poll-bound states. There is a general agony within the civil society against BJP due to restriction on funding sources and curtailing of freedom of speech. So they are naturally gravitating towards the Opposition.
The NGOs will frame a charter of demands in these states, which would further be used by the party to form manifestos in different states. With the help of these charted prepared by the NGOs, Congress dealt with certain issues like deletion of job cards and the change in eligibility for contesting panchayat elections. These issues were taken up at the state level by the party and it helped in increasing connection with the people who targeted campaigns on these issues.
Congress is hoping that a ready-made charter of demands from the civil society would also help an alliance, as the opposition parties are coming together to form fronts on the national issues also.
As Gujarat will face the election this year, Congress is concentrating on the state as it has not been in power in the state for the past two decades. A member of the functionary said that, NGOs work on very different local issues and in different areas, it is easier to bring them together for shorter terms rather than long-term.