Self-Goals by the Congress

It’s been two months since its embarrassing defeat in the general elections of 2019 and the Congress party doesn’t seem to have learnt any lessons. Any other party would have been ascertaining the reason for the defeat and planning to get back with a bang. However, the Congress is just creating a scene and wasting time. On the other hand, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), having won with such a huge mandate, did not necessarily have to hit the ground running. It could have basked in the glory of its success and got complacent. However, it is being seen working from day one with even more resolve than the last time. It is being seen as trying to win even the few seats that it did not win. Usually, it is the other way round. The winning party relaxes while the losing party gets its act together.

I really wonder why the Congress is behaving the way it is behaving. It is no news that Rahul Gandhi and even Priyanka Gandhi are not interested in politics. It is not that they are not interested in power, it is from taking responsibility that they are running away. Just saying “I want to resign” and doing nothing, does not absolve Rahul Gandhi of his responsibility for the defeat. Rahul Gandhi should, by all means, step down and rightly so, but only after correcting things that went wrong. Let some neutral person, who is not answerable to the Gandhis, call the shots. In the meanwhile, the Gandhis can do some introspection and take some lessons in governance. They can use this time to understand the people of India and work for them. After this, they can always come back to the Congress party as fresh candidates. Can this actually happen? Seems unlikely.

By acting the way it is acting, the Congress party is putting at risk whatever few seats it has won. The current mess in Karnataka and Goa is a case in point. Why are the Gandhis not seen trying to control the situation on the ground? By the act of resigning, has Rahul Gandhi’s accountability ended?

The Congress party is making many self-goals, in turn making things easier for the BJP. What’s interesting is that in spite of all this, I doubt if the BJP would want Rahul Gandhi to step down. Surprised? Well, with the remote chance of the Gandhis stepping down and giving place to somebody politically astute, the party could start breathing again, which would not augur well for the BJP. So, it is in the best interest of the BJP to have the Gandhis, especially Rahul Gandhi, rule the party. This way, in most likelihood, the BJP would remain as the only alternative and the Congress would keep getting weaker.

A week is considered to be a long time in politics. So, five years before the next general elections can be considered as ‘forever’. The Congress party has been written off in the past as well, for instance, during Indira Gandhi’s tenure. However, the party emerged stronger and better in a few years. It won’t be implausible if this happens again. But for that, the party has to act; act not as in a ‘drama act’ that it is doing right now, but a ‘political act(ion)’. If Rahul Gandhi actually cares, all he has to do is step aside. Whatever happens next can only be better than what is happening now. There is no dearth of talent and experience in the party. It is just that the talented are not being given a chance.

Rahul Gandhi is only running away from his responsibilities and political enemies. It’s time to face the problems, that he created himself in many ways, head-on. What if he has been failing? Things can change. There is no such thing as failure. There are only lessons learned in different ways.

Dear Rahul Gandhi, please wake up from your stupor and face the reality. There are many people who were loyal voters of the Congress but had to vote for the BJP for the lack of an alternative. They are desperately waiting for you to act or completely step aside. Possible?

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About the Author: Shobhika Puri

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