Congress calls for unity in make-or-break poll

Bengaluru: Buoyed by the momentum they have gained over their rivals in the last couple of weeks, Congress leaders in the state on Wednesday unanimously decided to "remain united".

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah instructed his ministers to look after their respective districts well and to prevent falling prey to their rivals ahead of the crucial Assembly elections on May 12.

Talking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior minister said that this is a make or break election for the Congress and there is a need for all ministers and party leaders to remain united until elections are over. 

“Resource mobilisation, including human resource, will be the key responsibility of ministers who are in charge of districts. The ministers will ensure that the momentum gained over the last couple of weeks due to various factors is maintained without giving any scope for rivals to raise their heads. Ministers will be solely responsible for districts allotted to them. Day-to-day functioning of districts will be keenly monitored and steps will be taken to maintain the party's lead,” he said, quoting the chief minister.

Not just ‘vote banks’, all in our sights: Cong

The Congress manifesto committee, headed by party veteran M. Veerappa Moily, has reportedly decided to include programmes to "reach out" to all communities, instead of its traditional vote banks of Dalits, minorities and backward  classes.
A senior leader who attended the manifesto committee meeting on Wednesday told Deccan Chronicle that the party has changed its strategy of wooing only its vote banks. 

“We want to make a new beginning with this manifesto. There are communities which have traditionally not voted for us or distanced from us. Now this is the right time for the party to make a new beginning to attract even these voters. We may or may not succeed in our attempt, but we need to make an attempt, which in itself is a significant step in our party's outreach programme," the source explained.

The source said that the Congress is traditionally viewed as an anti-upper caste or anti-youth and it needs to break the jinx and start venturing into newer territories. “The manifesto will surely come out with programmes that will be attractive to such voter blocs as well," the source said without elaborating.

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