The Congress party seems to be clutching on to straws trying to ascertain what went wrong in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Now, if a report in the Sunday Guardian is to be believed, instead of introspecting and trying to figure out why the nation is disenchanted with the grand old party, Congress seems to believe that a man planted by the Modi government may have cost Congress the Lok Sabha Elections.
According to the report, the Congress party and its senior leadership is now trying to ascertain who introduced the Head of the Congress Data Analytics Department, Praveen Chakravarty to Rahul Gandhi. The Congress party seems to believe that Praveen Chakravarty could have been planted by the Modi government in Rahul Gandhi’s team to cost them this election.
Praveen Chakravarty was a member of Niti Aayog in September 2017 and Congress believes that holding such a position would not be possible without Chakravarty being close to the ‘ruling dispensation’. He was then introduced to Rahul Gandhi by a high ranking UPA time minister. A ‘powerful entity in the BJP dispensation’ had apparently introduced Chakravarty to the UPA minister if the Sunday Guardian report is to be believed.
Congress appears to believe that Praveen Chakravarty was a ‘mole’ in the Congress party who was planted by the Modi government just to ensure that Rahul Gandhi gets misled and loses the polls. Earlier, Praveen Chakravarty had clarified that he is an integral part of Congress.
The Data Analytics head had made headlines just a few days ago when it was revealed that he might have fed incorrect data to Rahul Gandhi thereby costing him the Lok Sabha polls. Praveen Chakravarty had evidently made Rahul Gandhi believe that the party would bag 164 and 184 seats in the elections and Rahul Gandhi would be the Prime Minister.
According to the report, Chakravarty had met Rahul on 21 May, on the day of Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary, and had presented him a list of 184 potential winners of the Congress, along with their respective constituencies and projected margins. Praveen had assured Rahul Gandhi of securing 184 seats, even if turned out to be slightly inadequate, he had promised that Congress would not be less than 164.
Congress had also alleged earlier that he had conned the Congress party by presenting a bill of Rs 24 crores for his services and has not even provided the Congress with the hard disc of the data he had collected.
Reportedly, Chakravarty sent an email to the data analytics department of Congress detailing his reflections on how his shady data failed to give correct projections for Congress. Chakravarty washes his hands off the poll debacle and says how there is nothing much we (data analytics department) could have done. The mail reportedly did not mention the failure of Shakti app, Congress’ data app, from trying to read the Modi wave in the second term.
As per a party functionary, about 30-40% data in an earlier variation of Shakti app was fake in Karnataka, where it was launched before the May 2018 state assembly elections. Three months later, when Shakti app was launched, the focus was on the volume of data collected. A competition was also held where the one who collected most data would get to meet the party President Rahul Gandhi. Without checks in place, more fake data was collected. As per the report, about 50-70% of the data collected through Shakti app was fake.
In fact, the report had suggested, without naming any senior functionary within the Congress, that Chakravarty fed the Rafale controversy into Rahul Gandhi’s head but a lot of senior leaders didn’t really follow the Rafale bogey Rahul was riding on.
Chakravarty was the founding trustee of the dubious database with faulty ‘fact-checker’ had also stated that the BJP victory in 2014 was a ‘black swan’ which could not be repeated. His analysis and data were found to be inconsistent with the reality as the BJP not only repeated it but even managed to outdo itself in terms of voter share. The ‘black swan’ managed to get almost 50% vote share, way above the 31% it got in 2014.
Congress seems to be desperate to shield the crowned prince and insist that the reason for defeat rests on someone else’s shoulder. After the string of mistakes that led to the 2019 debacle, Rahul Gandhi is now planning a nation-wide stir against EVMs.