It is important to share that Congress since 1885 has dominated the Indian political space. It has also dominated India’s post-independence politics. It has ruled the country for 54 of the past 69 years, either on its own or as the leader of coalition governments. But now, the Indian National Congress is in crisis. Almost two years after its humiliating defeat in general elections, it has lost its face in the Assembly elections – Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal. They have become glorified third player in most of these states.
The last two years have been a washout for the Congress party both at general election and state assembly election. Yet the biggest failure of Congress in recent times is Delhi state assembly in February, 2015. Now we can also talk of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu now.
We all know that Congress has governments in six states – First set, three states in the northeast – Mizoram, Manipur and Meghalaya, Second Set, two states in the north, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and Third set, One state in the south Karnataka. If we see, at present, Congress is ruling one-fifth of 29 Indian states. If the Congress image and vote share doesn’t improve it will be very difficult for them to retain the ruling states. I also believe that Congress in current shape just does not have the energy to win back the states where it has a ground presence.
In my view, congress footprint across India is shrinking rapidly. It doesn’t have strong presence in major states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu. It will not be wrong to say that in all these major states they are graceful third player.
It indeed is humiliating for citizens and voters of India, if not for congress party, to see congress coming down to the current state of being without a strong vote share in the country from the party that once was a political colossus, party behind the freedom fight. The Congress central leadership needs to go back to strategy overhaul or may be on an atma-manthan camp. There are a few challenges which every Indian can pinpoint:
- In recent times, a number of Congress leaders came forward and complained about the accountability and transparency within the party.
- There is growing unrest amongst the regional and national leaders around access to Congress central leadership. They feel that their voices were never heard. This is not healthy sign and it needs to be addressed on priority.
- Congress both at central and regional levels have failed to communicate with voters. Mostly, it can be seen as a classic case of bad communication both in term of message and communication channel.
- Almost after every election a number of senior leaders of the Congress come out in defence of Rahul Gandhi, even when it is not needed.
- It is evident that Congress is struggling with central leadership issues. In many occasions party could not project a decisive leadership.
- Though there are many energetic, futuristic, and capable young leaders in Congress but the decision making is still in the hands of incapable few.
- Congress central leadership blatantly declares to ignore the obvious and keep listening to the same old icon loyalists rather than party loyalists.
- In the eyes of Congress central leadership, is this the right time to rekindle Congress and aggressively unite grassroots workers or the party still believes that for them politics is all about Blue Blood Politics?
it is important to understand that if Congress continues to lose control on states, they will also lose control on funds to run the mammoth political organization. It is important to understand that with the changing equation party’s ability to fund elections will get under strain. The Congress Leadership also needs to understand this side of political mathematics. We all know that historically Congress has not encouraged and promoted avenues of internal debate. But, in my views, the age old party needs a proper discussion around its revival.