Congress’s uncertainty

As usual, after every electoral loss, the internal bickering in the Congress party comes out into the open.

In the just-concluded Bihar election, political analysts have pointed out that the RJD-led alliance lost the election due to poor performance of the Congress. The party contested 70 seats and managed to win only 19 seats. The Congress also failed to score in the crucial by-elections, especially in Madhya Pradesh and UP. In fact, the left parties had a much better strike rate than the Congress in Bihar.

Many voices are emerging from the Congress since senior leader Kapil Sibal went public with his critique of the party’s Bihar performance and called for changes, saying the time for introspection is over. Mr Sibal told the Indian Express that the party “must recognize it is in decline” and added that “experienced minds, experienced hands and those who understand political realities” were needed.

Another senior leader, P Chidambaram has also called for introspection.
Those leaders loyal to the Gandhi family have reacted against Mr Sibal. The Congress is staring at a difficult future. Several leaders are ditching the party and making a switch to the BJP. Even though it has been losing election after election, the party is yet to make any serious effort to revive itself.

Sonia Gandhi, who is the interim president, is failing to inspire the party. Her son and former president Rahul Gandhi is reluctant to return as party chief. But no effort is being made to conduct an election to elect a new president.

The longer Congress drags this leadership issue, the more it is going to harm the party. In the greater interest of Indian democracy, there is the need for a strong opposition. The Congress is simply failing to play the role of a vibrant opposition party. The grand old party is sinking and is no match for the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Unless the Congress takes drastic steps to revive itself, the party has no future.