[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n 1977, after taking oath as a Prime Minister, Morarji Desai had given a statement that ‘Congress is finished, now. However, after three years Congress bounced back to power with a whooping majority. When India was shining in 2004, then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and senior BJP leader Late Pramod Mahajan said Congress will not be close to BJP in this election, however Congress was in power after that for 10 years. It means, Congress has a tendency to bounce back after rough and bad phase. And whenever, it was declared finished the party came back with more powerful status. All around scams, corruption, no new jobs, high inflation, negative industrial growth, depleting forex reserves and general hopelessness, is what described India in 2013 and 2014. These negativities flattened the Congress party. Catching the nerve of Indians, Modiji announced ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ and to some extent they succeeded in it. However, soon BJP lost its credibility and people are asking for an alternative. We have examples of Delhi and Bihar elections.
The General Elections result in 1977 mauled the Congress party badly and the country got its first non-Congress government in 30 years, led by Morarji Desai of the Janata Party. Mrs. Gandhi lost her own seat in her stronghold of Rae Bareily and the Congress strength in the Lok Sabha shrunk from 350 to 153 seats. The party failed to win a single seat in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. Janata Party rose to power with sweeping majority and got split into various factions within two years. Charan Singh, the Deputy Prime Minister, who had an ambition of becoming PM, was wooed by Indira Gandhi to come out of Janata Party and to form the Government with outside support of Congress. Accordingly, he withdrew from Janata Party Government along with 64 of his erstwhile members of Lok Dal. Bharatiya Jan Singh (BJS) component of Janata Party led by Vajpayee and L K Advani also withdrew the support to form Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Morarji Government lost the confidence vote in Lok Sabha and submitted his resignation. In the Lok Sabha, Indira Gandhi withdrew her support to Charan Singh. President of India dissolved the Lok Sabha and ordered fresh elections. In 1980, just after three years of Janata Party government, Congress came back to power. That was the end of the first Non-Congress Government formed by multiple parties with different ideologies. The first experiment of coalition Government failed in India. The 1984 Lok Sabha elections took place soon after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The sympathy factor led to a massive win for the Congress and for Rajiv Gandhi.
Actually, India Shining campaign went against BJP in 2004 election. BJP launched its election campaign in October 2003, with the slogan ‘India Shining’, in an attempt to reach out to the voters and persuade them regarding the achievements of the NDA coalition government. However, when the results started coming out, it was shocker of life because BJP had lost! Sonia Gandhi went on to form the Government with Dr. Manmohan Singh as PM and the rest is history. After the dust was settled, there were thousands of articles introspecting and analyzing this and the major reason attributed by analysts was that BJP went overboard with the “India Shining” campaign which offended the rural and urban poor who made it a point to “punish” the party by voting against them and to bring in Congress which was always seen as pro-poor. Even LK Advani admitted that they lost in 2004 due to overconfidence and wrong slogans like “India Shining” which was questioned by Sonia Gandhi who used the opportunity to mock at the campaign by pointing out India’s poverty.
Once again, Congress geared up to win. Black money, ghar wapsi, attacks on minority and Dalits, communal riots, inflation are the factors that might work against the BJP. The government proved to be non-committal and failed to deliver its election promises. May be, this has benefited other parties like AAP to win in Delhi and grand alliance in Bihar. Here begins the revival story of the Congress Party. Sonia Gandhi successfully carried out her party’s road show in PM Narendra Modi’s Varanasi constituency. She was accompanied by UP Congress leaders. She greeted people humbly but the rally was very lavish. Somewhere the crowd was saying, ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ is not possible. Shiela Dikshit claimed the development of Uttar Pradesh was evident 27 years ago when Congress was in power in the state. However, with governments led by the SP, BSP and BJP have “misruled by playing out religion and caste-based politics”. That is the sort of bluster that was running through the streets today in a state where the Congress was placed last in the general election.
Let’s see, what UP decides for Congress. If they win then no one can stop them from coming to power after 2019 General Elections.
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