Happy new 12 months, Congress. Or is it?


As one of many darkest years for mankind slips into historical past, India’s once-mighty Congress social gathering has little to boost the glass of champagne to

File Image of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. ANI

As one of many darkest years for mankind slips into historical past, India’s once-mighty Congress social gathering has little to boost the glass of champagne to.

It has been decimated within the Bihar elections, extinguishing the hope for its associate RJD. It did terribly in Jammu and Kashmir civic physique elections and Hyderabad municipality polls. For the primary time in three a long time, the presiding Nehru-Gandhi household faces revolt from inside.

And its president-forever-in-waiting, Rahul Gandhi, has left for Italy a day earlier than the social gathering’s basis day.

This when the BJP’s ruthless election equipment is working tirelessly on the essential state elections in 2021 in Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala. There will not be a single second when the prime minister and BJP’s chief campaigner Narendra Modi or the Union residence minister and grasp strategist Amit Shah is switched off.

These two have proven India that the profitable machine by no means sleeps. The distinction couldn’t have been sharper with the Congress scion, for whom politics appears to be a 9-to-5 company job with breaks, work-life stability, powerpoint shows by savvy execs, unwinding at a classy bar after work, and awarding oneself the occasional vacation to Bangkok or Milan.

When you’re the predominant challenger to the beast of a political power, it’s suicidal to behave like Rahul.

It will not be that the Congress will not be a participant within the forthcoming spate of elections. It is the principle challenger in Kerala, a state with a practice of alternately electing the Left and the Congress. This time, nevertheless, there’s a sturdy public feeling that historical past could not get repeated. The Left could retain energy.

If that occurs, it might be humiliating and significantly undermining for Rahul. Sensing sure defeat in household stronghold Amethi, he additionally fielded himself from ‘safe seat’ Wayanad, profitable it will definitely and saving face. If the Congress loses in Kerala regardless of Rahul being an MP from the state, that 2019 face-saver will turn into smelly, dripping egg in 2021.

In Bengal, the Congress has managed to push itself to the irrelevant fringe after giving the state its first and best chief minister ever, the legendary Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. Even when the Congress CM Siddhartha Shankar Ray was quelling the Naxal motion with an iron hand within the ’70s, none will need to have imagined the mendicancy his social gathering could be lowered to 4 or 5 a long time later.

In Assam, the Congress misplaced its supremacy simply 5 years in the past. Today, particularly after Tarun Gogoi’s demise, it appears like a rudderless, distant second. Maybe even third, if the brand new Assam Jatiya Parishad does surprisingly nicely.

In Tamil Nadu, it may enhance its tally from 8 in 2016 if it fights in alliance with DMK and works onerous. But that may be a large ‘if’.

Rahul’s complete technique appears to be to attend out Modi’s tenure and hope that energy will robotically come and fall on his lap when folks get disenchanted with the BJP. But the river of politics doesn’t at all times circulate that method.

In the final six years in energy, the BJP has, with the willpower of a heroin addict, expanded its base and brought over establishments and native our bodies. The RSS has unfold and deepened its ideological mission in methods onerous for most individuals to even fathom.

The Hindutva power has not simply created Modi’s seen successors resembling Amit Shah or Yogi Adityanath, however it’s grooming new leaders away from the general public gaze, to be introduced on stage on the proper second.

The Congress, alternatively, is attempting its finest to protect its prince from the dissenters. It continues to be avoiding an inside election, lest he’s challenged and even defeated. It could nicely find yourself placing the reins again into an ageing, ailing Sonia Gandhi’s hand to desperately keep away from taking a troublesome resolution.

The social gathering is up towards a power it nonetheless has not been capable of fathom. If the Congress continues within the mode it’s presently in, 2021 goes to be one other lengthy quarantine from energy.

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