Poll result a barometer for Congress: Antony

‘Party will become stronger nationally’

Congress Working Committee member A.K. Antony has said the Congress will become stronger nationally to fight the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if it is able to win the forthcoming Assembly elections in Kerala.

“The revival of the Congress at all-India level will depend on the outcome of the Assembly elections in Kerala as it happened in 1970 after the split in 1969. The Congress government in Kerala will help the party to emerge as an attacking force against the NDA government when the next elections to the Lok Sabha are held in 2024,” Mr. Antony told The Hindu.

The Congress-backed Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) would win majority in Tamil Nadu and M.K. Stalin would form the government, he said. In Assam, the situation of the Congress had improved and the fight was between equals in the forthcoming elections. “The performance of the Congress will not be pathetic as before in Assam,” he said.

Mr. Antony, who was thrice Chief Minister of Kerala, is hopeful that the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) will be voted to power. AICC leader Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency had helped the party bag 19 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats. His presence and campaign would be a big boost to the Congress and the UDF.

The ‘generational shift’ in the selection of candidates in Kerala was part of revamping the party and creating leaders for the next 25 years. “It is the first time that such a drastic change is taking place in the State after 1970. The changing times and the young electorate have been taken into account while selecting candidates,” Mr. Antony said.

He said the generational shift was taking place in other States too, but slowly.

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