Congress’ Only Problem: Living In The State Of Denial

The Congress party is in trouble and everyone knows that. And further problem for the party starts right from here. But the party remains in a state of denial.

The Congress party is in trouble and everyone knows that. And further problem for the party starts right from here. But the party remains in a state of denial.

The cover story of India Today, aptly titled “Out of Hand”, presents three international surveys and an inside projection to clear Congress’ mind. It says that the seat sharing after the Lok Sabha elections for Congress may dip to 75. Worse, Rahul Gandhi’s own men tell him that they will not get more than 110, which even may be called false enthusiasm looking at the mood of the nation and the allies of the party.

The Congress party never had inner democracy and it found one a little too late. Now Rahul is trying to discipline the old guns and new entrants from the same stick which is becoming a little too much for them. Rahul’s proposal for holding primaries to select candidates in 16 Lok Sabha constituencies in order to project the party more transparent is already facing objection from MPs.

All the senior leaders and Rahul’s confidants are refusing the tasks given to them. For example, RPN Singh was asked to become Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief and he refused. Same was with Jyotiraditya Scindhia when it came to Madhya Pradesh. His reluctance till late cost Madhya Pradesh to Congress. And Rahul keeps failing at whatever he does for the sheer lack of experience, clarity of thought and skill to set things straight.

Many party leaders are looking for a back route to the parliament fearing defeat in elections. Digvijay Singh and Kumari Shelja are the first to stand in line, while in other states the party is looking for safe alliances in order to save itself.

Many of its allies and former allies have joined the newly formed third front which has leaders with its own aspiration. They do not want to be a part of UPA 3, which is an impossibility, and neither do they want to support Congress in any other way. Sharad Pawar has met Narendra Modi although an alliance possibility is not clear and rumors are high that Mamata will join hands with Modi too. Omar Abdullah has already showed his disenchantment with Congress publicly and he has even threatened it about ending alliance.

The party had opened its kitty as a last resort to gain some public attention and vote. LPG cap has been hiked, CNG prices are low, various bills and social service schemes have been put in place. But it has, till now, not been able to fool the public. Other freebies were down the way but the Telangana Bill has spoiled everything. The continued ruckus in the Parliament and its embarrassment in the hand of its own chief minister has shattered any other hopes for the party.

But the party continues to live in the state of denial. It is forcing its way through thinking that somehow people will think that the party has changed, that it has the similar core values that they are trying to find or have found in other parties. But the kind of changes that Congress wants to put or make people see do not take place overnight. Maybe it should accept the reality and rather than running for short term bonds it should start making long term amends.

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