Cong thoughts turn to UP, TN, Bengal

The Congress is shell-shocked by its worst ever performance, since Independence, in the Bihar Assembly polls. The results will have a bearing on the coming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, party insiders apprehend, indicating that the debacle could also affect the party’s bargaining power with the DMK and the Trinamul Congress in seat-sharing negotiations in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. These states will see Assembly polls early next year.
The Congress party contested all seats in the Bihar Assembly elections on its own with the calculation that it would cut into the minority and upper caste support bases of the RJD-LJP and the JD(U)-BJP combines and thus emerge in a position from which to bargain.
But its strategy, calculations and the campaign did not work at all. In fact, the Congress’ corruption plank and under-utilisation of the Centre’s funds for Bihar could not influence even floating voters.
Bihar has never been on the Congress agenda after it lost power in the state about two decades ago. It had put leaders like Mr R.K. Dhawan, Mr Iqbal Singh, Mr Jagdish Tytler in charge of the state in the past and had even removed PCC chief Anil Sharma just ahead of the polls. But his successor, Mehboob Ali Kaiser, was just like any other leader in the state who lacks a following.
The Congress does not have a heavyweight leader not only in Bihar but in key states like Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Congress strategists thought the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA programme, RTI Act and commitment to women’s reservation in legislature would help in Bihar. It had also fielded a large number of candidates from the minority communities and defectors who were resourceful, but these did not help it even retain its numbers in the last Assembly.
This was the first election held after the Allahabad high court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit. But the party neither got Muslim nor Hindu votes nor that of the youth.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar has retained power by disproving the anti-incumbency factor. Sources said he won the election not on the development agenda but on handling the law and order situation.
The Congress leadership cannot blame the state leaders for the debacle because the party’s support base has been gradually falling since 1990. Its decision to join the RJD government about 10 yeas ago had further eroded the party’s base.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who congratulated Mr Nitish Kumar on the landslide victory of the JD(U)-BJP combine, candidly admitted that her party had not been expecting to make big inroads in the Bihar Assembly polls. “As far as our party is concerned, we did not have much hope. We took a deliberate decision not to work in alliance with other parties. The results obviously indicate that our party has to start from scratch to rebuild itself and that is what we plan to do,” Mrs Gandhi told reporters.

Comments

If you look at the best

If you look at the best governed states today all will be having a non congress chief minister. Gujarat, MP, Bihar, Orissa just to name a few. Look what Narendra Modi has done to Gujarat in a span of 8/10 years and so has Nitish done for Bihar. In contrast what congress did for the masses in last 45 years. Absolutely nothing. Just divided people on cast lines, ensured that the poor remained poor and kept on getting elected on false pronises. Now those days are over. Progress has triumphed over dynasty in the recent Gujarat and Bihar elections. It is also the fault of the media that it has hyped the congress much than it actually deserves. But the days are numbered.

The Congress still must go

The Congress still must go alone and not align with any other party(ies). The emphasis must be given to build the organisation in each and every state from the scratch. The Congress must not sleep after this debacle but take a proper lesson and get rid of most of the so called leaders and install the loyal and dedicated unsung soldiers rightaway.

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