Seems time has come when the grand old party of the Indian sub-continent decides to acknowledge its diminishing status and relevance in Indian polity. The 2019 general elections may prove to be the election when Congress finally accedes to the fact that they do not have a chance to stand against the BJP, even if they lead the opposition coalition.
Reportedly, in order to stop the Modi-led BJP from winning a second term, Congress has decided to contest only in 250 seats out of 543. This is the lowest number of seats that the Congress could contest in since the independence. This is being done to accommodate the other anti-BJP parties to make the proposed “Grand Alliance’’, a reality.
The Congress party is believed to have created a blueprint for seat sharing in the coming 2019 general elections. Congress has already created a committee, headed by former defence minister A K Antony, and has sought a feedback from the district and state committees on Congress with regards to this issue.
The Congress is determined to not share the 44 seats they won in 2014 come what may but they are revising their strategy in other seats. A section in Congress also believes that only clean imaged candidates should be fielded to up their chances in the coming Lok Sabha.
The big states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat send a large number of representatives to the Lok Sabha. That is why Congress is trying to engage people in the booth-level to counter BJP in the coming elections.
In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, The Congress has previously fought with an alliance and are considering consultations with the other parties in those state before coming to a consensual seat-sharing formula in these states.
According to Congress, they will finalize the 2019 plan only after consultations from the party’s district, state and national level office bearers and Rahul Gandhi.
Though, the Congress seems to be strong in their commitment to creating a strong opposition coalition the road ahead does not look easy, as several opposition leaders do not see Rahul Gandhi as a rational leader or leader capable of winning elections. Leaders like Mamata Banerjee, the supremo of Trinamool Congress and Telangana chief Minister KC RAO, feel that there should an alternative to BJP and Congress.
Also, there is much uncertainty about the possible face of such a coalition even if one is created. Rahul Gandhi’s track record as far as winning elections is concerned is abysmal and his habit of remaining absent in times of key political incidents and even election campaigning, as seen in North-East and recently in Karnataka, may prove to be a problem for the coalition.