As the Hindutwa forces rapidly advance towards accomplishing their declared agenda of a Congress-free India, the latest developments indicate that the party which ruled the country for over fifty years isn’t bothered about retaliating or reclaiming their loses.
The ten years of UPA governance came to an end in 2014 after the humiliating defeat in the general elections. That no steps have been taken so far by the party leadership to comprehend the reasons for the fiasco and to rectify their moves is a strange reality. What is more queer is that the party doesn’t even express any feverishness to hold on to the trust shown by a significantly large section of the people despite all the odds.
Given that the Congress haven’t received any unexpected setback in the recent assembly polls in the five states, being the main opposition party, it was expected to lead the majority that holds on to the concept of secular democracy as opposed to the extreme Hindutwa forces and to boost their morale. It’s because the Congress made a stunning comeback under the leadership of Amarinder Singh in Punjab and also emerged as the largest single party in Goa and Manipur beating the BJP. As far as UP was concerned, since the party was not in power for almost twenty years, no phenomenal achievements worth mentioning was anticipated. That the Congress on a whole, has faced a huge debacle, is true. But it didn’t emotionally hit the party hard enough to bring them back to track. A minimum 60 per cent voters are with the secular parties even now. Even in UP, where the BJP captured power by securing a two-third majority bagging 312 seats, the party’s vote share came below 40 per cent.
If there had been moves from the part of Congress to form a government in Goa and Manipur, other than Punjab, it would have been sufficient to boost the confidence of the supporters and those on the secular side. The issue is that the façade itself is skewed. The core of the crisis faced by the Congress is the lack of strong leaderships in the states. Given that the Congress is not a cadre party based on any principles and ideologies, it was the leaders with commanding power and public support who preserved the party’s core foundation at the Centre and in the states. With Sonia Gandhi’s deteriorating health and the leadership falling into the hands of a weak Rahul Gandhi coupled with the evident dearth of party leadership in the states, the tough times began for the party.
The solution for survival was to form a joined alliance. But things have turned further worse. At the peak of groupism and infights, even on the verge of a tremendously risky decline, the group leaders aren’t willing to unite or be flexible. Kerala is the perfect example. Three years ago, when the infights reached a level that threatened the Congress, the High Command had directly appointed V M Sudheeran to the post of KPCC President due to his clean image. Sudheeran is known as a man of principles and level-headedness. But he wasn’t acceptable to the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who led the UDF government. Chandy didn’t abstain from openly expressing his dislike and displeasure for Sudheeran. Ousting Sudheeran was the only factor on which both the Congress (A) and Congress (I) groups that stood against each other on all matters, unanimously agreed.
The attempt went futile due to the opposition from Rahul Gandhi and A K Antony. In the assembly polls, when the time came for choosing the candidates, the attempts of the KPCC President to change a few candidates including some tainted Ministers, faced severe resistance. Sudheeran was left with no option other than to accept defeat and withdraw from the scene. When the people voted against the corrupt UDF government, the groups had attempted to put the blame on Sudheeran. The KPCC President had also given equal consideration for both men and women regardless of the groups, in the appointment of DCC presidents, as per the directions of the High Command.
The group leaders have since then making attempts to replace Sudheeran which eventually led to his unexpected resignation. Even though he cited poor health as the reason for his resignation, anybody could comprehend the actual reason, which is the severe ill-health of the party in Kerala. With realization dawned on more than half a dozen leaders, of succeeding Sudheeran, the coming days would witness frantic moves of change in strategies and allegiances. Meanwhile who cares if the supporters flock towards the hardcore Hindutwa party in the daylight as in the night? If the cohorts continue this attitude, those outside the field would only be left helpless.