Indian National Congress at the Crossroads!
Yeah, I know that two strong parties would be good for India. Or basically a good opposition party.
And yet I wished for a huge victory for BJP, and it turned out that way too.
My thoughts were that at this time, in 2019, the way the opposition was, a good opposition would have meant a fractured parliament or a hung one or a coalition. Or in any case, not a great opposition, but a messed up ghatabandhan sitting on the opposition benches. That did not seem like a great idea to me.
Also I’d rather give NaMo a clean passage without constant parliamentary breakdowns and stuff, to do what we all hope he can do, for the good of the country. Yes, five years of clean passage. To deliver. And he’s got those now.
More importantly, I was hoping that the decimation of the Congress would see some major introspection that will create change and a “new” Congress emerges over the next 5 years, to become the healthy competition to BJP!
Yes, Congress seems like the only “party” that could be that second party at the National level.
And they cannot wait to sink any more. Not after 44 and 52 seats over two elections spread across 5 years!
They cannot keep talking about BJP’s 2 seats in Parliament and wait to reach that low a number. By that time, they will be done and over with!
So this is their nadir and here is from where they need to resurrect.
If only their is a will.
This business of RaGa’s resignation, and the non-acceptance by his party, and his continuation, are the kind of drama that is not helping Congress!
Ideally, this was the perfect opportunity to look into the mirror, think afresh, think about the next 5-10-15 years (and NOT about the previous 20-30-40 years!), and see what needs to be done. Maybe get younger leaders to the fore. Give them the party reins. Let them make mistakes, but let them learn from those. Take 5 years to get things right. In time for 2024. And not come back with another knee-jerk, anti-Modi, vote bank oriented campaign in 2024.
That was the wish. That was the opportunity they had.
But looks like, they are not heading anywhere in that direction.
As they say, if you keep doing the same things, you will keep seeing the same results. The opportunity was there to do things differently. But they don’t seem to want that to happen. Other than some superficial statements..
So what could still happen? Clearly, as a party, there are still too many sycophants to create a real rebellion against the Gandhi-Vadra family. But well-meaning leaders in the party, I am sure, are feeling choked now. That they have to cool their heels at home, or on the opposition benches, while also seeing the future as extremely bleak, the frustration will clearly set in.
That should be the beginning of a slow exodus out of the party.
The trickle may start with opportunistic movements out of Congress, in Karnataka and M.P. (I see both states becoming BJP governed by end of 2019). Losing two of the very few states they have will be a big jolt, more so for those same well-meaning leaders who would be feeling frustrated inside the party.
Around then should start some big names quitting the party. Many years back, we saw Pawar, Sangma and others walking out of Congress and Sonia’s leadership. They had harboured a hope that a larger exodus would happen and the GOP with all its legacies (and its coffers?!) would be up for grabs, beyond the family. Unfortunately at that time, the party was able to curtail damages and larger exodus did not happen. That they were in power and able to dole out ministries and other prime positions (and what perks go with those) helped in limiting the losses.
At this time, if a few big leaders quit, there is not much for the party to offer, to hold the rest back!
They will flounder as they try to hold members and leaders back, but unsuccessfully.
Those who quit may start their own parties or some may join the BJP.
Again at that stage, the Congress WILL have another opportunity. For some leaders who are still within, to raise an internal rebellion, get the Gandhis out, and call the ones who have quit, back again. And a non-Gandhi Congress will emerge. But 3 years later than what could have been! 3 years of time wasted, and not being truly ready for 2024.
So that was scenario 1, when bigger leaders start walking out of Congress. The other scenario is that, even as these leaders walk away, the party can neither stop them, nor still have the guts to replace the Gandhis inside. And that then leads to a complete disintegration of the Congress party. That will be a sad day!
And we will still be far from a good 2-party system in the country!