By Sanjay Jha
I had proper done a TV debate when within minutes, the identical channel flashed my rapid suspension from the Congress celebration in huge fonts. Momentarily, I was horrified by the abruptness of all of it; the Congress had a month earlier equally dumped me because the national spokesperson with a wintry brusque one-line dispatch. Clearly, I was committing perfidious acts that were deemed blasphemous by my Huge Mature Occasion.
If writing two op-eds in The Times of India (March 3 and June 7, 2020) that raised crimson flags on crucial fault-lines all the intention in which during the celebration is an act of treachery, I’m responsible of intransigence. If advocating a measured response to the unhealthy-border militia tensions with China is deemed as apostasy, I must apologise. If supporting the case of Sachin Pilot for Rajasthan CM makes me a BJP accent, I humbly crave forgiveness.
If truth be told, Congress appears skinny-skinned, intolerant of dissenting voices giving contrarian views, and demonstrating raging impatience with those having political ambitions. It legitimately accuses BJP of intolerant democracy, but encourages a identical imperious custom within. The sparkling hypocrisy is exhibiting. However most importantly, the Congress is plagued by delusions of grandeur and that might well well point out perilous if there is no rapid route correction. There are five elements that signal a blockbuster washout.
1. DECLINING VOTE SHARE
The Congress historically aggregated common vote-a part of 45%, which peaked at 48.1% in 1984 (a unlit swan election because Mrs Indira Gandhi used to be assassinated proper a few months earlier). Since then, there has been a precipitous decline. True a decade later in 1998, the Congress had slumped to 25.8%, virtually 50% of its supporters had vaporised. Clearly, few paid imprint. The UPA years saw a minor bump to 28.5% in 2009 (Dr Manmohan Singh’s heart-class romance flourished briefly), sooner than the catastrophic descend in 2014 to 19.52%, a descend of 59.5% from 1984. Worryingly, a approach to arrest the descend is non-existent.
2. LOST STATES
The Congress has virtually surrendered political receive in key gargantuan states of India. It has no longer formed governments within the next states for a few years: Uttar Pradesh (1989), Bihar (1990), West Bengal (1977), Tamil Nadu (1967), Gujarat (1985) and Odisha (2000 ). These states add as much as 247 Lok Sabha seats. The as soon as valorous bastion of Andhra Pradesh of 40 seats can also neutral additionally be added to the casualty checklist. We must no longer neglect that it used to be after 15 years that Congress recaptured Madhya Pradesh (since magnanimously gifted lend a hand to the BJP) and Chhattisgarh. Who’s to blame for the sustained underperformance and near extinction of the celebration in vote-rich states? The BJP steadily paradoxically dismisses the Congress as a “monumental regional celebration”.
3. NUMBER OF VOTERS STATIC
This statistic is inclined to be the knock-out punch. Between 2004 (10.3 crore voters) to 2019 ( 11.9 crore voters), the Congress added a downhearted incremental boost of 15% to its voter irascible. For the length of the corresponding length, the BJP grew from 8.6 crore to 22.9 crore voters, a staggering 166% amplify in original voters. This exhibits how the Congress lost the early life vote, one amongst the explanations at the lend a hand of its electoral losses of unhurried.
4. POST-2019 SURRENDER
Following the devastating defeat of 2019, the Congress withdrew into a cocoon, allowing the BJP to salvage lend a hand into Karnataka (which proper a yr earlier had considered the Huge Alliance photo-op). However it for certain used to be the political naivete in Madhya Pradesh that took the cake and the bakery, besides the defection of a tall political asset in Jyotiraditya Scindia. Gujarat, which in December 2017 used to be being hailed because the bearding of the lions (Narendra Modi and Amit Shah) of their indulge in den, has since haemorrhaged as neatly. Rajasthan is the closing nail within the coffin, a cavalier misadventure by the political leadership that has backfired. The Congress PhD thesis desires to be titled: Self-Destruction Assured in 10 Straightforward Steps!
5. LEADERSHIP VACUUM
Any organisation desires a genuine churn across hierarchies to remain fit. In the final 20 years, the Congress has had proper two presidents and there were no elections to the noteworthy Congress Working Committee since 1997. Since Could 2019, it doesn’t indulge in a permanent president. Organisational atrophy is inevitable. The inform of the celebration in Mumbai (the Congress used to be born right here in 1885) reflects the excellent apathy in direction of India’s investment capital, industrial hub and entertainment alternate; three major constituencies within the political calculus. The ossified formula of working with a excessive-show taking choices from a Delhi darbar is obsolete. A cunning cabal runs the celebration.
It can probably gentle be a crucial competitor in 2024 but it doesn’t indulge in a second to lose. It desires to exercise a courageous call to signal its political intent; appoint a non-Gandhi Congress president and say transparent inner elections. Perhaps after reading this article the celebration can also neutral beget shut to expel me altogether. However then all the pieces has an discontinue, simplest the sausage has two.
(The author is a Congressman, no longer too prolonged within the past suspended)