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Congress keeps sinking, but shows no sign of detaching itself from the deadweight of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty

Over the decades of its existence, Congress has been identified with or rather integrated itself with the Nehru-Gandhi family. Perhaps the individual identities have been lost in the process, Congress and the dynasty seem hell-bent on dragging each other to oblivion.

The results of 2019 general elections are out and Congress has emerged as perhaps the biggest loser among political parties. Once the party that basically controlled India, the party that ruled over the country for over half a century has now been reduced to the fringe.

The Congress has managed to get only 52 seats on its own. As if that number was not enough, it has been obliterated in most Indian states. Apart from sporadic one or two seats in Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and other such, the party’s seats have largely been confined to Punjab and Kerala.

However, Congress leaders blame everything and everyone, except their royal family. Even after consecutive losses year after year, they are yet to question and demand accountability from its leadership.

Some of the oldest Congress loyalists in media and the intelligentsia have started questioning the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. There are media debates and discussions happening where even ecosystem players have voiced the issue, But so far, from within the Congress, there has not been a voice that steps up and addresses the elephant in the room that the Congress is perhaps in the need of new leadership, away from the grasp of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

Of course, there have been some reports of Rahul Gandhi ‘offering to resign’ but the level of their absurdity can be summarised by this one tweet.

Congress has been sinking, and fast. It had managed to grab power in Karnataka in 2018, but the levels to which they went and the uncertainty looming over the state government, the desperation and mistrust that is sent out for the public to see when they pack off their MLAs inside luxury resorts, may all have been working against them.

Even in terms of vote share, Congress has fared badly. As per reports, its vote share has increased by only 1 crore from 2014, while the BJP votes have increased by over 5 crores.

In terms of overall vote shares, the BJP alone has got 37.4% while NDA has got over 45%, the highest ever national vote share. Congress has managed only 19.5% of the total votes.

Congress holds power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. But failed to gain a single Lok Sabha seat in Rajasthan, got only 1 seat in Madhya Pradesh and 2 seats in Chhattisgarh. Even the margin loss has been so high in many of the seats in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh that the party seems to have been completely and utterly rejected by the voters.

In fact, Congress has scored ‘zero’ in 17 Indian states. Many veteran party leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Digvijay Singh, Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, and Sheila Dixit have lost.

In Uttar Pradesh too, the situation is not much different. In Western UP, 21 of the 22 Congress candidates have lost deposits, meaning they could not even get 1/6th of the total votes polled. Congress stalwarts like Salman Khurshid and Raj Babbar have lost their deposits.

Another stark reality that haunts Congress and highlights the fact that the Nehru-Gandhi family is weighing the Congress down to rock bottom is the failure of Priyanka Gandhi. Hailed by Congress leaders as a rescuer and messiah, incessantly worshipped by media and ecosystem, Priyanka Gandhi has been proven to be just a failure, a damp squib.

Appointed as UP’s general secretary on the day she ‘decided’ to formally join active politics, Priyanka had campaigned in 31 constituencies in UP. Congress lost 30 of them, all except Raebareli. In the other seats where she had campaigned across  India, Congress has lost all of them, except Wayanad.

In Punjab, where Congress has managed to save its face by winning 8 seats, it has lost in Bathinda and Gurdaspur, the two seats where Priyanka had campaigned.

Congress state presidents and regional leaders all over India are offering to resign or have already submitted their resignations. But the party’s compulsive death wish to keep bowing down to the Nehru-Gandhi family is far from healing. Over the decades of its existence, Congress has been identified with or rather integrated itself with the Nehru-Gandhi family. Perhaps the individual identities have been lost in the process, Congress and the dynasty seem hell-bent on dragging each other to oblivion.

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Sanghamitra
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