Congress party workers in Bihar are full of optimism that the magic that worked in Uttar Pradesh will be reenacted in the poll-bound Bihar. Having tasted success in UP, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi started his whirlwind campaign in Bihar earlier this year with a series of meetings to prepare the ground for the organizational elections in the Indian Youth Congress(IYC) and NSUI.
At the start of this month (September), political pulses of the state started throbbing, when Rahul Gandhi tried to mobilize youth, farmers and the other sections of the society by taking on the present dispensation. He raised a number of issues and questioned the state government's claim of development during his visit of Saharsa and Samastipur.
To keep the momentum up Rahul's visit created earlier this month, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi be campaigning for the party in the six-phased Bihar Assembly polls in the next two months.
It is expected that the two meetings will be addressed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi himself in the first phase next month.
Though the task is formidable before Rahul Gandhi to bring back the lost sheen that Congress once boasted of, the mood in the state appears to be changing in favour of Congress in the wake of falling graph of Nitish government in the developmental front and the rising popularity of youth icon Rahul Gandhi. With firm conviction, Rahul Gandhi took the decision of Congress fighting the electoral battle alone, knowing that it will not only take on the Janata Dal (U)-BJP combine but the supporting parties also like the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD and the Lok Janshakti Party during the election campaigning.
Earlier organizational elections for IYC were successfully completed in the state and a cadre of Youth Congress is there in every panchayat of the state where Congress has politically been on the sidelines for the last two decades.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has got a firm belief in youth and his advocacy for the youth to be given a chance in politics will certainly be seen implemented in the coming state election. To begin with, several of these IYC elected members would be given party nomination, even if they are not in a position to win, so that they gain experience in electoral politics in the long run.
In the last Lok Sabha election, Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi had actively lobbied for party nomination for the youth so that they get valuable experience. Several of them won bringing in a new dynamism in the party affairs.
Though the poll schedule of youth icon Rahul Gandhi in Bihar is yet to be fully prepared, party leaders said he is going to address a series of rallies to enthuse the workers and the cadres and bring back the old glory of the party in the state.
As witnessed in Uttar Pradesh, where Gandhi was instrumental in initiating a policy of going it alone, the magic of him would be enacted in Bihar too where the party will fight on its own without any alliance, said an enthusiast party worker. The Gandhi 'magic' was in full flow in Uttar Pradesh, where the party won an impressive 22 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha election, its best performance in 20 years.
Earlier, senior party leader and Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had said Rahul Gandhi was a right medicine and expressed hope that Congress would be resuciated in the state, saying "we were ill there (Bihar). We got a good doctor, who gave us the right medicine. There is a change of mindset in Bihar after Rahul Gandhi's visit there. We will reach our destination under his leadership."
In the 243-member assembly, the Congress has only 10 members. According to party workers, in the six-phase elections beginning from October 20, the tally of the Congress would certainly go up because people here got disillusioned with the performance of the state government.
As the party won two out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in General Elections last year though it considerably improved its vote share, so the party workers are hopeful of capturing a large share of seats in the state assembly.
Eyeing a larger pie this time round, the Congress has engaged itself in the groundwork by getting the Union Ministers to visit in the state besides seeking the presence of the star campaigners like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and PM in the coming days. Indeed, the magic of Rahul Gandhi would be reenacted in Bihar too as the preparation in the Congress camp, and mood of state are any indications to go by.