The results of the general elections to 17th Lok Sabha have rejected the Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi. In 17 States and Union Territories, the Congress has failed to open its account. This is high time the Congress should get rid of the Gandhi family. It is better for the family also. Another option for the Congress is Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should gracefully relinquish their position taking moral responsibility for the Congress’ rout in the elections. Even after this defeat, if Rahul Gandhi continues to hold sway over the Party it will mean the Congress is digging its grave. In that case, one does not need to predict the future of the Congress Party in Indian Politics.
Just see, soon after the elections were announced, Rahul Gandhi had begun hurling abuses at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Most of the charges levelled against Modi were baseless. He was accusing Modi on Rafale deal as if Rahul Gandhi possessed some solid evidence against the Prime Minister. He was challenging Modi to debate the Rafale deal issue for 15 minutes. He was unnecessarily shouting “Rafale Rafale”. If Rahul Gandhi had any evidence why he did not make it public?
Now, sensible leaders with a mass base should think how long they should carry the burden of leadership of the Nehru-Gandhi family. In electoral politics, a leader is one who gets the victory for his Party. Rahul Gandhi has failed on this front. After repeating ‘Rafale Rafale’, “Ra-failed”! Even if Rahul Gandhi does not take “Sanyas” from politics he should at least resign as the Congress President taking the responsibility for the defeat of his Party. The defeat of 2019 elections is no small defeat. The people of the country have made Congress and its allies to bite the dust.
It is clear that no leader can stand before Modi in terms of stature and popularity. All other leaders are dwarfed before Modi. He is tallest of them all. Not only in India, but Modi’s leadership is also gaining popularity in other countries of the world as well. Today, Modi has emerged as strongest Prime Minister of India after Jawaharlal Nehru. Till now, it was believed that only Congress could return to power for the second time on its own. This has been proved wrong by Modi.
If you look at the results, except for in Kerala and Punjab, the performance of Congress was miserable in all other States. It goes without saying that Rahul Gandhi was not a factor in Punjab. It is Captain Amarinder Singh’s sway in Punjab that worked for the Congress. Surprisingly, Congress has promoted Navjot Singh Sidhu against Capt. Amarinder Singh. Sidhu is reported to be very close to Rahul Gandhi. Sidhu got an entry in Congress despite opposition from Capt. Singh.
Rahul Gandhi sent Sidhu all over the country to campaign for Congress. Sidhu used pedestrian language to attack Modi and BJP in the campaign. He hurled abuses against Modi. People were seeing this all. Wherever Sidhu campaigned for Congress, the Party lost the seat.
Nobody denies that debate and discussion must take place in a democracy. Even in the Parliament, discussion and debate are needed. This is the first requisite of a healthy democracy. However, one may ask since when it became a practice to make baseless accusations against a political opponent. Day in and day out, Rahul Gandhi has been making baseless and senseless accusations against Modi. Maybe he was writing a new book on ‘Grammar of Politics” but there were no buyers.
At the end of the day, Rahul Gandhi was a big flop. The people of the country rejected the negative ideology of Rahul Gandhi. They solidly voted for “Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas”. People of the country were watching how leaders like Chandrababu Naidu, Mamata Banerjee, and Arvind Kejriwal under the influence of Rahul Gandhi were demanding proof of air strike in Balakot in the PoK.
Those finding fault with the foreign policy of the government forgets how China retreated in Doklam which was a big diplomatic victory of India. I don’t remember China in the past ever took a defensive step with India in a border standoff. China, which did not miss the opportunity to remind India of 1962 war, has now understood that India under the leadership of Modi will not spare China in case of conflict.
Remember, in 2014, the Opposition was scattered. This election the Opposition was united. Despite this, the nation has voted for Modi. This is people’s mandate. No doubt contribution of the Congress in the freedom movement is unforgettable. Then great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel were associated with Congress. But where is Congress of Gandhi and Patel today? Congress of today can’t think beyond a family.
In 2014, the Congress had suffered defeat as it could win only 44 Lok Sabha seats. It could not even get the position of ‘leader of Opposition’ in the Lok Sabha. For this, a party in order to qualify to have the position of Leader of Opposition should win at least ten per cent of the total seats of Lok Sabha. The required number is 55.
In the past five years, Congress did not bother to go in for introspection for the cause of defeat in 2014. On the contrary, ignoring its grass root leaders, Congress banked on leaders like P Chidambaram, Raj Babbar, Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, and Randeep Singh Huda. They can appear on the TV screen for debate only but they occupy the position of prominence in the Party.
When we look at West Bengal, there too the BJP has knocked at the corridor of Mamata Banerjee. The BJP has won 18 seats out of 42 in the stronghold of Trinamool Congress.
The message is clear and loud and it is that the country has given its mandate for Modi and has rejected Congress under Rahul Gandhi.
(The writer is a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha)
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