May 26, 2020 | 4:15 PM IST

What went wrong for Congress: A way of thought

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s spectacular win leads him to his second term in the PM’s office. But it is time to introspect as to what sent the grand old party, Indian National Congress, flat on its face.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi lost his fortress Amethi to BJP. Amethi was his family bastion for more than 70 years. He is still trying to put up a brave front and take the whipping with grace. Answering a subtle question meant to be a dig on his leadership skills after the results were declared, he said it was for the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to take a call whether he would continue to lead the party.
It is important to analyze now that why Congress failed miserably in the Lok Sabha elections –especially when the party scored really well in the 2018 assembly elections and winning back the 5 states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Telangana.
NewsinInd brings before you what could have been the prime causes that led to the downfall of Congress government.

Rafale Deal

PM Modi announced in April 2015 that India will buy 36 French-manufactured Rafale fighter jets off-the-shelf from Dassault, the French aircraft builder and integrator. Later, Congress started campaigning with “Chowkidar Chor Hai” Jibe against PM Modi blaming him for misappropriation of funds.
The controversy
•    Congress accused the ruling BJP of non-transparency,
•    Cong spokesperson Manish Tewari asked for details of agreement to be made public
•    Cong leader Subhash Bhamre informed the LS that the cost of each Rafale aircraft was approx Rs 670.
•    Randeep Surjewala alleged that procurement procedures were bypassed in acquision of Rafale
•    They called it one of the biggest failures of Make-in-India programmes
Ultimately, all this blame game had a reverse effect on 70 year old party as people were convinced that the country is in safe hands and the decisions are being made in people’s favour.

Pulwama/ Uri Incident

After the Uri and Pulwama attack, the Congress accused Modi government of failing to check terrorism from Pakistan. About 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in a terrorist attack. Party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala levied charges against ruling party like:
•    BJP of being a mute spectator
•    Questioned the government policy.
•    Pak committed more than 5,000 ceasefire violations at LOC in 55 months
•    It was about 1000 percent higher than the 55 months of UPA ruling
•    It was bigger attack than Uri
•    Escorted JeM’s Masood Azhar at Kandhar
•    Most weak government that failed in defending India’s borders and checking terrorism.
It may be noted that though the incident was of major intensity, people overlooked this as no blasts occurred primarily in India, except in Kashmir region, during the Modi’s tenure. Secondly, people were aware of the fact that the militants are known to have the support of Kashimir locals.

Congress skids in Punjab

Congress stronghold of Punjab, has given the party the edge with 10 seats. But there were many reasons that led to the downfall of the party in Punjab.
•    Infighting led to the formation of breakaway Akali Dal (Taksali). It left the party haywire.
•    The Sikhs were angry over the desecration of Holy Scripture and police firing at protesters.
•    BJP fielded Sunny Deol against Sunil Jakhar from Gurdaspur who attracted considerable attention.  
•    Navjot Singh’s visit to Pakistan and affinity towards the nation did not go well with the people
•    Unemployment had become synonymous with the youth who are getting more involved in drugs or other anti-social activities.
Getting off dynasty rule
The dynasty rule that always brought a near-extinction defeat to the Congress seems to be one of the causes of its downfall. If rumour-mills are to be believed, the partymen, who once looked upon the Nehru-Gandhi family in reverence, now want a change in leadership.  

Loan waiver ghost

The Congress party’s loan waiver scheme for the farmers proved to be a complete flop. In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress did a high drama and dispatched bundles of waived off reports to former CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan. The Congress even claimed to have relieved Chauhan’s farmer brother of the loan. Truth surfaced when
•    Former CM challenged saying that his brother was a tax payer and he had not applied for waiving off of the loan
•    Farmers said that their loan was not waived off
•    Several farmers said only Rs 136 or similar amount was waived off

The 48-year-old party president, who also pulled in his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, captained the party ship putting in a lot of labour to win the 17th Lok Sabha elections. However, the result was a naught. He conducted more than 150 rallies, 10 press conferences and several road shows during the three-and-a-half months of campaigning.
His highhanded decisions like, not entering into an alliance with parties like AAP in Delhi, BSP, SP and RLD in Uttar Pradesh somehow contributed to his defeat and he even failed to harbour an overall intuitive sense of political ambience.
Also, while the PM was busy with more nationalistic and mass welfare issues, the Congress was more engrossed in ripping off the government policies and giving self-contradictory statements like loan waiver and Rs 72,000 a year for below poverty group. As the party in the recent years has earned the reputation for being busy in making tall claims and giving misleading statements, people preferred a result-oriented government over bogus promises.

Editor In Chief

Editor In Chief is an publisher and journalist. He is regular columnist of the website NewsInInd. He is experienced in national and political issues with more than 500 blogs.