Cong survey: Win in WB, Kerala; Loss in TN, Puducherry; Assam dicey
It is a mixed bag for the Congress in the upcoming elections to five state assemblies, says a pre-election survey of the 5 assemblies commissioned by the party.
The survey was carried out in February and is more or less on expected lines, says a senior party leader and tallies with what the party's own assessment is.
According to the findings, the Congress is all set to make a comeback in Kerala by trouncing the Left Front government in the state. The party is losing power in Puducherry and is also in line to lose Tamil Nadu along with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
Jayalalithaa's All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is set to return to power in both the states.
In West Bengal, the Congress-Trinamool Congress is set to wrest power from the left comrades if they contest the elections together. In Assam, the Congress is skating on very thin ice but can still recover lost ground and return to power if they have an electoral tie up with the Assam United Democratic Front, the Muslim party in Assam.
As far as the numbers are concerned, this is what the survey conducted by a multinational agency has given the Congress party.
Click on NEXT to read the survey's statewise assessment...
Kerala: 107 out of 140 seats for UDF
While the scams and scandals of the United Progressive Alliance government have taken their toll in Kerala, it, however, appears that the people of the state may have decided to stick with the time tested formula of one term for the LDF and one term for the UDF, alternatively.
There is, however, a huge problem of too many leaders vying for the chief minister's post in faction-ridden Congress in Kerala.
Image: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with Oomen Chandy , former chief minister and Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala
WB: 202 out of 294 seats for Cong-TC tie-up
In West Bengal, the survey has been done on the premise that the Congress and Trinamool would contest together even though the number of seats both will contest has neither been decided nor declared.
The Congress-Trinamool combine is shown to get 202 seats in a house of 294, while the left parties have been reduced to 89 seats with the BJP getting 3 seats.
It will, however, be a different story if the Congress and Mamta decide to fight separately as the division in the vote could bring the Left back to power in the state.
Sources say that the discussions between Mamata and Pranab Mukherjee over seat sharing in West Bengal would begin only after March 8 and the Congress would be looking at the quality of seats rather than the numbers alone, which they say don't mean much if she ends up giving them all the losing seats.
Image: Mamata with Pranab Mukherjee
Assam: 42 seats out of 126; needs AUDF
Sources say Chief Minister Gogoi does not want a tie-up, but leaders in New Delhi want him to go along with the AUDF to consolidate the votes.
Gogoi says he will be contesting the elections and will be the face of the party and the government in the elections, but sources say that his family is keen that he should not become chief minister and are in fact pressurising him.
He appears to have left the issue open for the time being.
Image: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi
TN: Only 77 out of 234 seats for Cong-DMK tie-up
In Tamil Nadu, however, the situation does not look good for the Congress-DMK combine.
In a House of 234, the Congress-DMK-Pattali Makkal Katchi are pegged to get just 77 seats while Jayalalitha's AIADMK is set to increase their tally and get 152 seats, marking her return as the next chief minister. The Left will get 4 and the BJP 1 seat, according to the survey.
All India Congress Committee General Secretary-in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Ghulam Nabi Azad who was in Chennai on Wednesday night and held meetings with DMK leaders came back on Thursday morning as the DMK was offering only 58 seats and the Congress was insisting on at least 62.
The issue was discussed in the core committee on Thursday evening and sources said it will be sorted out.
Puducherry: Just 6 out of 30 seats for Cong
In Puducherry again the news is not good for the Congress.
Out of the 30 seats in the assembly, the Congress will get 6, the DMK 5 while the AIADMK is slated to get 19 seats.
Clearly the influence of Tamil Nadu is very much there with the AIADMK set to return to power in next-door Puducherry as well.
Sources say the Congress managers are studying the results of the survey and it is likely that some course correction initiatives may be on the cards as the party works to minimise its negatives in the run up to the polls.