After their dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress received a drubbing in the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. Howsoever the party abhors the slogan, PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Congressmukt Bharat’ (Congress-free India) seems to be well on its way to fruition.
Congress’ fall from ruling party to nowhere is perturbing, as it has failed to occupy the position of the principal opposition party in Parliament. We, as one of the biggest parliamentary democracy, need a good Opposition, and it’s the need of the hour at a time when BJP is going gung-ho with a clear majority in the Lok Sabha. But, neither the party nor the Gandhi family seems to be in learning mode. The Lok Sabha defeat should have come as a wake-up call to the party and enabled it to take some bold steps.
First, the party should have had a serious view on the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, who made things increasingly complicated with his rhetoric and actions.
The party decided to reject resignations of its chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul after the LS defeat, when a major overhaul in the organisation would have been a refreshing change. Efforts to bring in Priyanka Gandhi may not bear fruit, as she has not shown any inclination at least publicly. She may have been avoiding, as her decision to take to politics would naturally mean an end to Rahul’s political career. More so, it could also be due to the controversial background of her husband Robert Vadra, who has been constantly on the BJP’s radar.
The party cadre has failed to learn any lessons as is evident from their statements; any word against the party is taken as an affront to the Gandhi family.
For Maharashtra, the party will have to take a decision whether it wants to continue with the leadership of Prithviraj Chavan, or call him back to Delhi. Though he won from Karad, Chavan has not been a popular leader among the party’s state leaders, despite his image as Mr Clean.