Monday, August 2, 2021
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Congress failed to read voters mindset

Shattered by the party’s worst debacle in the elections, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi offered to resign accepting responsibility but the party unanimously rejected it. Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have said four times that she wanted to resign as party president, and Rahul at least twice as vice president, but the CWC members insisted that they stay. CWC members might have thought that the Congress Party should take cumulative responsibility for the debacles.
In fact, persuasion of the Gandhi family to continue steering the Congress party took up most of the time with 29 of the 38 CWC members at the meeting speaking up. Not much time was left for any introspection. There might be another “chintan shiver” for that.
The defeat is so catastrophic that in many states it couldn’t open an account and in no state the party reached double figure. The disastrous result even take away ‘The leader of Opposition’ right from the Congress as it couldn’t get the 10 per cent of total seats of Lok Sabha (minimum 55 seats).

Some Congress man read it as Modi style of packaging his brand or Modi wave responsible for such a defeat. As Mayank Gandhi said he also was defeated because of Modi’s wave. This is half truth. Modi magic definitely worked in many part wiping the Congress out. But what happened to the Congress in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Odisha? Mamata, Jaya and Naveen Patnaik too also routed Congress from their states. This means there was a strong Modi wave for BJP and NDA, along with there was also equally a strong wave against UPA in general and the Congress in particular!

Is Manmohan Singh responsible for such debacles as indirectly indicated by some of the Congress spokespersons? On a closer look one could realize that Manmohan Singh can never be blamed for Congress’s worst performance. He was an accidental Prime Minister and earlier Sonia Gandhi also asked party members to defend Singh, and refrain from criticizing him. Singh had performed very well during UPA-1. Some also feel that conditions were much better during UPA-1 than NDA period. That’s why people had given mandate to the Manmohan-led UPA-2 government.

What happened then? As Congress’s dynasty politics never allowed any leaders to be a mass leader with growing stature, the coterie started clipping wings of Manmohan Singh. Sonia Gandhi started directly intervening into the governance fearing of Manmohan Singh’s increased stature.

Then on election front Rahul Gandhi completely failed to present himself as a mature leader. Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi indulged in negative campaign, divisive vote bank politics, dolomonics and other cheap tricks. They should refrain from attacking Modi, though he successively managed to have an upper hand against them. They failed to read the mindset of Indian voters who are not ready to fall in traps of such tricks of caste, creed, and religion divide. Public want development, growth, livelihood etc. They also didn’t like negative campaigns.

Wherever they find BJP formidable, they voted for the saffron party whole heartedly, wherever they found others formidable such as TMC, AIADMK and BJD, they voted for them comprehensively.

Now, it’s time for introspection for the Congress. It’s time for both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to step down and find one leader who could match Modi’s caliber and tackle him. I know this is quite impossible for the Congress Party. But it should be remembered that the Congress is facing survival crisis today.

The Congress might bounce back as we had seen it has done earlier after facing serious debacle. It’s a family run party and could suffer more disasters as there are many other parties including new outfit like AAP are waiting to take over the space of the Congress or they have to wait till Modi commits some mistake. If the Congress fails to redeem itself the party might head for a major crisis.

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