Cong hopes to reap from ’03 wasteland

Apr 29, 2004 at 0000 hrs IST

As fate would have it, the Congress has to pin its hopes again on Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where it was routed in the 2003 Assembly elections.

In the third phase of polling on May 5, Congress finds the two states — MP with 29 seats and Rajasthan with 25 seats — crucial to prevent the BJP from getting the required numbers in the Lok Sabha.

Anticipating such a situation, a roadmap for Congress revival was suggested by the Pranab Mukherjee Committee which was set up on December 15, after the Assembly results last year. But none of the recommendations have seen light of the day. With the demoralised cadre and both BJP governments still enjoying the honeymoon period with the voters, the third phase has the potential of taking away the Congress’s ‘feelgood’ after the second phase exit polls.