Oct 152012

Determined to dislodge the 17-year-old BJP dispensation in Gujarat, the Congress strategists are mulling a multi-pronged strategy to win the upcoming elections in the state.

More than matching Modi’s political rhetoric, which the Congress feels is a diversionary tactic, the party intends to focus attention on social engineering and target specific groups.

The party is paying special attention to the selection of candidates.

Keeping in view the fact that 65 per cent voters in the state are under the age of 40, the party has decided not to re-nominate even sitting MLA above the age of 70.

The screening committee headed by railway minister C.P. Joshi started interviewing candidates on Thursday for the first round.

Sources said Joshi, Congress working committee member Mohan Prakash in-charge of Gujarat, and political secretary to Sonia Gandhi Ahmed Patel are expected to review the list on Monday and discuss it with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress president.

In response to Modi’s plans of not fielding candidates who won by a margin of around 5,000 votes, the Congress has decided to pay special attention to roughly 25 seats. These seats include the ones where the margin of defeat or victory was 3,000 votes and another 40 seats which were won and lost with a margin around 10,000 votes. The party plans to field new and formidable faces in these constituencies.

Congress sources said the party would demolish Modi’s claim of a “vibrant Gujarat”.

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