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Lessons Congress, Opposition Parties Must Learn from Assembly Elections Result: Experts

The Poor Performance of Congress in Three States shouldn’t Be Used by Other Parties to Arm-twist the Congress


Radiance News Service





– Mohd Naushad Khan

New Delhi, Dec. 4: The Congress and Opposition parties are likely to analyse the defeat in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh during the next INDIA bloc meeting to be held here on Wednesday, keeping in mind the outcome of the Assembly elections results and the challenges ahead.

The next meeting of INDIA bloc will of more than 25 Opposition parties, which is likely to take place at Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence to analyse the assembly elections result and streamline strategies for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. But the big question: Will the Congress and Opposition parties really introspect and learn the lessons from the assembly elections result?

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, senior journalist, author and expert on Hindutva polity in India said, “I think both the Congress and other parties in the alliance have to be more reasonable than what they have been so far.  This business of name calling or giving the signal that such and such party or leader is not necessary doesn’t really help any one of them.”

“The poor performance of the Congress in three states should not be used by other parties to arm-twist the Congress. Despite its poor performance, the Congress remains the party with the largest footprint in the country and everything should not be looked in terms of the number of seats which they won. This is not the ideal situation for the Opposition to be getting into contest with the BJP.

“The Congress and the Opposition should be more reasonable. And if they are reasonable, it should not be a difficult task to give at least a credible fight. It is being said now at the moment that INDIA alliance may now get dissolved and if it happens then there will be no contest in the elections at all. The Opposition should be more accommodative and more reasonable to look at things in the long term and not in the short run,” said Mukhopadhyay.

According to Professor Afroz Alam, political analyst and Head of the Political Science Department MANNU, Hyderabad, “Over the past few decades, a consistent trend has emerged, wherein anti-incumbency is more pronounced against the Congress compared to the BJP. The Congress has to struggle to maintain its victories for multiple terms, and there are various factors worth considering in this context.

“First, Congress incumbents often display overconfidence and occasional arrogance, assuming victory without paying meticulous attention to potential challenges. Secondly, a lack of willingness among the older leadership to make way for younger leaders has led to a generational divide within the party. Thirdly, factionalism within the party has been openly manifested rather than addressed internally. Lastly, the Congress has struggled to present an ideologically coherent narrative as an alternative to the Hindutva narrative.”

Alam further said, “Until these issues are resolved, it will be challenging for the Congress to regain the confidence of the people as a credible alternative to the BJP. The Congress has to learn from its recent victories in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, and Telangana, as the victories are largely attributed to its youthful leadership, better management of factionalism, a coherent narrative, and a professional campaign.”

On the way forward, Professor Alam said, “However, the Congress needs to engage more collaboratively with its allies in the INDIA Coalition, adopt an inclusive strategy and narrative, and address its shortcomings to effectively challenge the incumbent party at the center in 2024. Building decentralized but focused narratives are essential to address the diverse concerns of the people, particularly related to welfare and social justice.”

Praveen Rai, a Political Analyst at CSDS, Delhi, while sharing his perspective, said, “The defeat of the Congress in the three states in the recently concluded assembly elections provides three directions to the party.

“First, the party has failed to find an alternative program to the BJ, PS ideology and program. It has to formulate strategy based on the feedback of people, based on the realities and based on how it can provide a real counter to the BJP ideology. The party has to really find an alternative program to challenge the BJP in 2024 elections.

“Secondly, the Congress reliance on the Gandhi family and the Gandhi siblings has completely failed and the assembly election results show that the so-called media hype and overstatement towards the success of Bharat Jodo Yatra and the birth of Rahul Gandhi as a strong leader who can put a challenge to Modi has been completely decimated. The party has to find a son-of-the-soil leader from among itself to take the party ahead as the current leadership has come to a complete not.

“Thirdly, the Congress party needs to learn from the assembly elections in the light of Congress not forming any alliance with Samajwadi Party in Madhya Pradesh. The confidence of Congress that they are going to win has been completely demolished. They should now go back to the table and strike a really seat-sharing arrangement with the INDIA bloc so that they can become a formidable force in the coming general elections.”


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