It is still a bit more than two years left to the 2024 general elections, but it seems that its rumblings have already begun in the Opposition. Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress seems to be on a recruiting spree. With former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro, sizeable leaders from Haryana, and sitting MLAs in Meghalaya being the recent addition to the TMC’s bench strength. Before the winter session commenced, Mamata Banerjee met prominent non-Congress opposition leaders. She even took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi’s foreign visits without naming him. It was followed by Prashant Kishore’s tweet questioning the Gandhi family’s so-called “right” to be the face of the Congress party. These recent developments have changed the national political picture.
At its lowest, Congress still has a loyal vote share of about 20 per cent. In contrast, others in the Opposition camp have their vote share in single digits. Even if you add everyone’s vote share or look at the total seat count, it would still be well below Congress’. Even Mamata Banerjee, who is taking on the party, knows that currently, no one other than Congress can stitch an alliance that will hold BJP at bay. This could be the reason for Congress’ arrogance and taking everything for granted. Instead of acting like the adhesive that binds parties together, the Opposition cohesion is breaking away, taking away Congress’s vote share with it too.
Congress and its crisis
Congress lost almost 96 per cent of its seats when it fought the Bharatiya Janata Party head-on. Increasingly, trends have shown that Congress’s loyal voter base has started shifting to the non-BJP alternative available to them. People jumping ship is an indication that the ship has started to sink. Currently, this seems to be the case with the Congress party. Leaders are disillusioned and have serious doubts about where the party is headed, and one can see them deserting the party.
Democracy is all about alternatives, so either you be the one or someone else will be. If the Congress doesn’t make the required course correction, its loyal vote base will metamorphose, eventually devouring the party itself. The likes of Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal catapulting themselves to the national stage and their parties making inroads into other parts of the country is filling up the void that Congress has created. This is just the beginning of the metamorphosis and maybe the beginning of the end for Congress.
Mamata Banerjee has sounded an alarm in the Congress leadership. Now it is up to them whether to snooze that alarm or turn it off.
The author is a student at Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat. Views are personal.