Back to the drawing board for Congress

Back to the drawing board for Congress

With the results to the Assembly polls  out on Saturday, the Congress is gripped by an internal post-mortem by several leaders as to what is going wrong with the party in terms of strategies for winning polls.

Many senior leaders feel compelled to shield Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi from criticism for the party’s failure in Uttar Pradesh and are  instead talking of collective responsibility.

But, the murmurs that are growing louder are bound to force the party members to take note and sit down for an ‘honest introspection’ said some senior leaders.

Skeptics within the Congress scoffed at such suggestions and pointed out that the ‘honest introspection’ promised after the 2014 Lok Sabha defeat never took place, and many leaders of the party were forced to look for greener pastures.

Leaders such as Sandeep Dikshit also questioned the midway change in the election strategy in which the party entered into an alliance with the SP. “Alliance with the SP was a bad decision,” said Dikshit, whose mother and former Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit was projected as the chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh before the alliance was announced.

Safety ring
The Congress threw a safety ring over Rahul and has chosen to focus on the party’s victory in Punjab and its emergence as the single largest party in Manipur and Goa, while only making a cursory reference to the loss in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. “Victory of the Congress in all the three corners of the country i.e. Punjab, Goa and Manipur is a lesson to those who never got tired of repeated harping about ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’,”said Randeep Singh Surjewala, the in-charge of the AICC Communications Department.

Rahul Gandhi, who was the chief campaigner for the Congress, chose to stay away from the media and resorted to sending messages through Twitter as the party was routed in
Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

“To all Congress workers across India: We stand resolute & committed to our values & our belief in an India united in strength & purpose... Our fight continues and will not end till we win the hearts & minds of people,” Rahul tweeted.

The Congress also heaved a sigh of relief at the Aam Aadmi Party’s failure to emerge as a dominant force in either Punjab or Goa, which would have given it a national profile, which in turn would have shrunk the grand old party’s political space further.

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