Rahul Gandhi, the ever so young Congress prince had planned a two-day private retreat in Jaisalmer had congress waved the flag of victory in Bihar. Yes, after all, “break to banta hai” especially after he had “worked so hard” there: organized rallies day and night, gave media interviews, did all the strategy planning, and conducted party meetings as well as seat-sharing negotiations!
But, the people of Bihar gave to congress party a strong blow…merely 19 seats out of the contested 70 seats! Due to a dismal performance of his party, Rahul Gandhi cancelled the trip to Jaisalmer, or perhaps after the news of his “picnic” was leaked to the media.
To add insult to injury, 44th American President Barack Obama has written in his memoir: “Rahul lacks aptitude or passion to master politics”. In India also, many political experts have claimed similarly: “Ye banda to achha hai but line galat hai!” (Meaning: he’s a good guy but not exactly cut out for politics).
Therefore, a natural question arises: Will Rahul Gandhi ever be able to see his own “achhe din in politics” given that he lacks the aptitude, according to Obama?!?
Just recently, the power in Bihar slipped out of Mahagathbandhan’s hands only due to a poor strike rate by Congress, as shown in the chart below:
As you can see, Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD has almost double the strike rate of a national-level congress party. Even “Left” whose existence has been reduced to almost nothing, at least nationally–thanks to no money, no muscle, no media–even their strike rate has surpassed everyone’s expectations!
Agitated by the result, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, a senior member of the congress party, claimed that Owaisi’s AIMIM had split the secular vote in Bihar elections as if the congress party had copyrighted secular votes, eh? Owaisi, obviously, hit back: “Your party leadership is incompetent, politically impotent,” he blasted on the live TV!
Bihar aside, bypolls were conducted on 59 seats in 11 states, out of which, BJP managed to win an impressive 41 and a majority of them at the expense of congress. Of course, it was a game played with muscle, media and money, and BJP owned it hence, clearly!
The congress party supporters, or more correctly put, Rahul Gandhi fans, say that they want to win “fair and square”, “love over hate”, etc. which are all very nice thoughts really but haven’t won them any elections since very long. Judging by the results, it seems like the new congress leadership is more active on Twitter than they are on the street among people.
Also, congress hasn’t made any attempts to re-shape their grassroot organization nor have they maintained a strong social media presence that’d scare the BJP. Furthermore, any insider who has spoken against their “impotent leadership” is either singled out, expelled or tackled brutally by “close friends” of the party.
What’s next for congress?
First, let’s go back in time a little: In 2017, Congress fielded their candidates on a whopping 105 seats for UP assembly elections. But, it’s a shame that they won merely 7 out of those, yes only seven, not even double digits! Similarly, in 2016, Tamil Nadu elections: congress won 8 out of 41 contested seats. In 2014, Maharashtra, they fought on 287 seats and won just 4 seats, so embarrassing, isn’t it?
So whatever you say, fact is fact: Congress party is abysmal in assembly elections, especially due to party leadership. (For example, they could’ve won Haryana but mismanagement at the top level wasted that golden opportunity). Infighting has also become commonplace in the last two years: their MP government has already fallen and Rajasthan’s was on the verge of it.
Even so, Gandhi family does not budge its hold on congress party’s leadership. When 23 congress leaders called for change, Rahul Gandhi played an emotional card plus Sonia Gandhi cut short their wings, aka, masterstroke! Seems like BJP’s “congress mukt bharat” mission has been taken way too seriously by the congress party itself!
Elections are coming up in major eastern and southern states, West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, respectively. Yet, congress party is clueless about their future or their leadership or their ideological stand in any of those states.
The fact is, congress is an important part of the opposition, however, if they remain as weak as they are now, the whole democracy might collapse, since it’s the job of opposition to keep the ruling party in check. The congress leadership should remember this: If there is no opposition, there’s only authoritarianism, and they will be held the most responsible if that ever happens.