After Rahul Gandhi returned from his foreign visit in January this year, the first state the Congress leader visited was Tamil Nadu. Since then the Gandhi scion has visited the poll bound state multiple times keeping in mind that the party will be able to bargain hard in seat-sharing formula with DMK-led alliance, as well as, in the hope of putting a strong show like in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
But the seat-sharing agreement with DMK didn’t materialise as per the expectations of Congress. The grand old party could get only 25 seats, which is 13 seats less than what they had in 2016 within the same alliance. Last time, the party had contested in 41 assembly seats but could win only 8 seats.
Despite getting fewer seats, why the deal is not bad for Congress? The party couldn’t manage to get the desired number of seats, which was somewhere between 30 to 34, but it can hope to perform better in comparison to the 2016 Assembly Elections, when the party’s strike rate was below 20 per cent.
There are many reasons for the same. First, Congress has 8 Members of Parliament from Tamil Nadu. A senior Congress leader, who was very much associated with the party affairs in the state, said that if 8 MPs manage to get 2 or more seats each from their constituencies, the party can win 16 to 20 seats, which is a fantastic strike rate for the party contesting only 25 seats this time.
Second, the Congress is banking on their performance of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, where the party won 8 out of 9 Parliament seats it contested in alliance with DMK. The party leaders are hoping that the Lok Sabha elections’ performance can be repeated under the same alliance.
Third, the party is also expecting anti-incumbency factor against the state government will help Congress, as well as, the DMK-led alliance to perform well. The party is also hopeful that Rahul Gandhi’s back-to-back visits to the state will produce positive outcome.
However, the results will show whether the deal would be good or bad but Congress definitely seems to expect results like in the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections, when the Congress won 27 out of 41 seats it contested on as part of the Mahagathbandhan.