Congress is very much alive in Gujarat and can win the upcoming Assembly elections in the state by defeating the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Chhattisgarh minister T S Singh Deo has said here.
Singh Deo and former Union minister Milind Deora have been appointed as Congress's observers for the Gujarat elections, expected to be held in December.
Singh Deo and Deora on Thursday held meetings with senior party leaders in the state to chalk out a strategy for the polls.
"After arriving here, I realised that the reality of Gujarat is different from what is being projected to outsiders. People are angry. They are also living in fear. People of Gujarat are now fed up and want to change the government," Sindh Deo told reporters on Thursday.
"I have observed that Congress is very much alive here and is in a position to win the polls," he added.
Despite prohibition, liquor worth Rs 25,000 crore is sold in Gujarat every year and it is not possible without the patronage of the BJP and its government, Singh Deo alleged.
"Why does the Enforcement Directorate (ED) never raid the liquor and drug mafia in Gujarat?" he asked.
Gujarat Congress in-charge Raghu Sharma said the party has set itself a target of winning at least 125 out of 182 seats.
"We will prepare our manifesto only after consulting people through nearly 2,000 public meetings in coming weeks. Apart from a common manifesto for the entire state, we will also declare separate manifestos for each of the 182 Assembly seats because issues are different in each constituency," he said.State Congress president Jagdish Thakor said the party will hold 'yatras' or protests across Gujarat in coming days to highlight the failures of the BJP government, such as the recent deaths due to sale of spurious liquor.