Indian National Congress Vanish To Thin Air

| Updated: March 10, 2022 10:11 pm

Indian National Congress lost the 2022 assembly elections, as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) swept Punjab and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retains Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa. The grand old party had lost its grip among the people. So, it’s high time that the Congress party needs a self-retrospection questioning their failure.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “humbly accepts people’s verdict. We’ll learn from this”.

Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP is heading for a landslide win in Punjab with leads in around 98 seats in the 117-seat assembly. The ruling Congress is trailing with 18 seats. The Congress is also trailing the BJP in both Manipur and Goa, where it was the single largest party in 2017. In Uttarakhand, the BJP has crossed the majority mark with more than 45 seats in the 70-seat assembly. The Congress is trailing with less than 18 seats. The BJP has achieved a 250-plus tally in 403-seat Uttar Pradesh, with the Samajwadi Party, its main challenger, a distant second and Congress trailing with 2 seats.

The failure of Congress should be seen subjectively in each state and objectively through their ideology.

Punjab

Congress failed to retain power in Punjab, the only state where they had the government out of the five states.

In Punjab, the power struggle was between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which had a 24-year-long partnership with the BJP from 1997 to 2021, and Congress, with the former winning in 2007 & 2012. This time, people across Punjab, Malwa, in particular, voted for a change. The AAP stepped into the Punjab politics with the slogan “Is baar na khaawaange dhokha, Bhagwant Maan te Kejriwal nu dewaange mauka (We won’t get fooled this time, will give a chance to Bhagwant Mann and Kejriwal)”. This resonated among the people who now offered a chance to AAP.

Replacing Captain Amarinder Singh with Charanjit Singh Channi and playing the Dalit caste politics didn’t work out well for Congress as the voters were tired of witnessing the divisive politics within the leadership of Punjab Congress.

Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur

Congress was the principal challenger of the anti-incumbent BJP governments in Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur. Even though the Congress had displayed organizational disarray, they had collapsed like a pack of cards. It is evident now that people choose not to trust Congress leadership.

In Manipur, the current BJP government in contrast to the Congress regime under Okram Ibobi Singh which was marked by bandhs, blockades and a sharp rise in extra-judicial killings, the last five years have been considerably peaceful. Along with the powerful Modi at the centre and weak Congress state leadership paved the way to BJP retaining power in Manipur. Similarly, in Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the beloved leader and no other regional leader comes remotely close to his stature. BJP leaders in the state repeatedly highlight how Uttarakhand holds a special place in the PM’s heart. This has been further strengthened by Modi’s repeated visits to Kedarnath, where he also spent some of his early years.

Also, Congress lacked star power and the presence of political heavyweights in the Himalayan state. While Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi don’t have a large following in Uttarakhand, Congress’s CM face in the state, Harish Rawat, had lost from both the seats he contested in the last assembly elections. In Goa, Congress has been witnessing increasing defections as its voter share continues to erode. The Grand Old Party has been losing the confidence of the people in being a national power.

Uttar Pradesh

In the course of 17 elections in UP, Congress went from ruling to ending up in single digits as there is no particular caste aligned with Congress in UP right now, like Yadavs are with Mulayam Singh and Dalits with Mayawati and upper castes with BJP. Getting a caste to align with your party is very important because it is the starting point. Now. under the Modi-Yogi leadership, they are consolidating the votes under the umbrella of Hindus and others, which the Congress leadership failed to challenge.

Modi and the BJP’s Hindu nationalism occupies a more prominent position now, as they have stabilised power in Uttar Pradesh, Hindu heartland. Except for Punjab, other states where they retained power too signifies the acceptance of their Hindu nationalistic vision.  As Modi’s charisma grew stronger, the Congress failed to truly fight for India’s long-established secular ideals.

These election results are going to impact the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections towards the end of this year. As the Gujarat Congress leadership is weak and many Congress leaders are shifting to BJP. Notably, the social engineering of the Gujarat BJP cadre eases them to consolidate the votes under the Hindu roof. The current victory of BJP denotes their successful easy steps to win the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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