Lok Sabha Polls 2019 - Message Undelivered: Weak Election Campaign Hurts Congress

In January, Congress party seemed poised for a strong fight back against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after victories in three heartland states late last year.
But just over four months later, even Congress officials admit the attempt to unseat PM Modi in the ongoing general election has suffered from a weak campaign and fumbled communications. Political strategists say the missteps and an inability to sew up alliances with other opposition groups had hurt Congress.

Votes are to be counted on May 23 and it's still not clear if PM Modi will come back to power, although many political analysts and pollsters have said he has the edge.

Two Congress officials told Reuters that their campaign centered on a promise of a handout of Rs. 72,000 every year for the poorest families, was rolled out late - only four days before the first phase of the polls began on April 11.

In contrast, the BJP campaign's communications have been a huge strength - no one can complain that the message didn't get out.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has dominated newspaper front pages, TV screens, social media posts, roadside billboards and rallies through the election, backed by a war chest multiple times that controlled by Congress.

On 11 Hindi TV news channels, for example, PM Modi has got nearly three times the air-time compared to Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi between March 30-April 26, according to Broadcast Audience Research Council India.

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