A day after the exit polls predicted a rout of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha elections, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra were seen having dinner at the House of Ming, a premier Chinese restaurant in New Delhi’s Taj Mahal hotel, a favourite joint of the capital’s rich and the powerful. It was difficult to guess whether Sunday’s exit polls or the Congress party’s future figured in their conversation.
Her own entry in politics as party general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh was to start on a disastrous note, the exit polls predicted. Five days later, at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on 25 May, Priyanka Gandhi was vehemently arguing about why it was not the time for Rahul Gandhi to resign after the party’s poor performance.
She said Rahul Gandhi should ‘restructure’ the organisation in whatever way he wanted. As if anyone stopped him in the past. He relented, predictably. Congress leaders were relieved, albeit obliged. The party was safe.
Also read: Rahul Gandhi’s resignation rejected, Congress authorises him to restructure party
The message from the CWC meet Saturday was unequivocal: the Congress is not giving up hope. The 134-year-old party would wait for the BJP to fail, for the law of averages to catch up — be it in 2029, 2034, 2039….
Members of the CWC, top Congress leaders, had everyone and everything to blame for the humiliating loss—the electronic voting machines, Balakot air strikes and the BJP’s nationalism plank, the media, et al. Congress president Rahul Gandhi had got his party right into the BJP’s trap by running a personalised campaign against Narendra Modi and completely failed to read the people’s mind. But he shifted the blame on to other leaders for not raising the Rafale issue the way he did and for seeking tickets for their children. Then came the last part of the scripted drama—his offer of resignation and its rejection—which every single Congress leader knew about from the day poll results came.
Also read: 2019 elections ended ‘dynasties’ only of Congress, BJP’s are well and truly thriving
Those present at the meeting to discuss the electoral fiasco and suggest a way forward were also an interesting melange. There was K.C. Venugopal, AICC general secretary (organisation) — technically the most powerful leader after Rahul Gandhi in the party hierarchy—who chose not to contest from Alappuzha and was proved right as it was the only seat which the Congress-led UDF eventually lost to the LDF in Kerala. The Congress president himself played it safe by opting to contest from a second constituency—Wayanad. Then, there was Jyotiraditya Scindia, the only Scindia to lose the Guna constituency ever. He is also the party general secretary in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh, where 21 of 22 Congress candidates lost their security deposits. Priyanka Gandhi did no better, improving the party’s vote share by a little over 2 percentage points in eastern UP. Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who had held 93 meetings, rallies and roadshows in Jodhpur to ensure his son’s victory—only to lose all 25 seats to the BJP in the state—also held pride of place at the CWC meet.
Also read: Rahul Gandhi must sort out professional ties with sister Priyanka — for Congress’ sake
So, where does the Congress go from here? The CWC members urged Rahul Gandhi to restructure the party as he wanted. Didn’t he already do it after he became party president in December 2017? He was virtually running the party since his appointment as party vice-president in January 2013. He was the one who got Ashok Tanwar, the former Indian youth Congress president, appointed Haryana Congress chief in February 2014. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won all 10 seats in Haryana, increasing its vote share by 24 percentage points. Rahul Gandhi made Rajiv Satav, Tanwar’s successor in the youth Congress, in-charge of party affairs in Gujarat in 2018. The BJP swept all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat a year later. Gandhi appointed Milind Deora, his buddy, Mumbai Congress president ahead of the elections; the Congress lost all six seats in Mumbai, including Deora’s. There are numerous other instances of Gandhi backing the wrong horses at the cost of the party.
On Saturday, the apex decision-making body of the Congress was beseeching the same old—nay, young—Rahul Gandhi to stay on as Congress president and restructure the party (again) as he wished. For Christ’s sake. As always, a Gandhi can’t go wrong. It must be the people—over 12 crore who voted for the Congress in 2019—who must be held accountable for failing in their solemn duty to make Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister.
BJP won because EVM machine software Programme changed in their favour. 95% people of India will not understand this how BJP done it. Do election on ballot paper and see the result
Why oppose hate BJP? Are all members & writers who oppose progress peace and protection of Hindusthan manufactured from same uterine factory?
These have morphed into frm Public Servants to Master Race? Wo says there is no honor among goons?
Congress must keep distance from regional parties , bcoz Congress stratigy was you rule the state we the centre (with support/ but Congressudt come out of this and must bring the formula of only two parties in country like uttrakhand or Kerala.keeping the hopes of we the 12 crore who voted for congress
134 years of existence by congress party does not give a credible qualification to claim a perpetual right to Nehru Gandhi family to claim a right to hold on to the throne for generations
The party is formed and nursed by many . There should be a succession path for the best of the Congress leader to head the party and not by family name
This is a democracy and the process of CWC and the President and General secretary should be elected in a General council of the party
Youngsters and capable people should be encouraged to. Contest elections
The process should be denpmocratic and leaders should younger generation to compete with each other
The slavery attitude of congressmen should be discouraged totally
Only if these reforms are put in motion with all earnestness , Congress can not expect to Govern India any more
The congress abolished the Maharajas and the privey purse but allowed Political Kingdoms to raise all over the country and each state have created a political kingdom and the politicians have become autocratic political Maharaja,s. and in the process the cancer of corruption
This needs to be changed . This applies to BJP and Narendra Modi also Party should be identified by it self and not by persons .
Individuals may be dispensable but the Party with good governance will only survive
A True democracy with a ruling party and a checkmate of credible opposition party is the Solution 🙏
The present Congress being 134 years old is a myth. It is not the original INC that fought for freedom, neither in pedigree or values. It is only a fraction that succeeded in winning elections against other INC factions. It comes with a suffix ‘I’, that clearly indicates it is not the original INC. The original INC ended with the first split and all present parties, except Communists and BJP, are it’s progeny.
Excellent. Particularly, the last sentence.
I think they first need to come out of view that Modi did nothing.. he did many things in 5 years that affected positively to poors. if opposition keep view that Modi did nothing and something wrong with us then there is no way. They start to delivery wherever they get opportunity. you can not seat ideal for years in states they have government and fight with the one who are working so hard and also communicating well
Just off the topic.. why did you say ‘Christ sake’ being a Sikh, DK Singh?
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