Minutes after votes in Chindwara constituency of Madhya Pradesh were counted — giving him a victory margin of 1.16 lakh votes — Kamal Nath said that it was the “fatigue factor” connected to the UPA government that did the most damage. This is the ninth time Nath has won the seat. “People thought that we have been in power for too long. They felt that we were fatigued and exhausted as a government and wanted a change.”
He also admitted that another reason for the shocking performance of the Congress was the fact that the party was not able to communicate the benefits of all the social welfare schemes it had launched to the constituents. “And it is not the party but the government which has to communicate all this,” he said.
He also admitted that the corruption issue was mismanaged by the UPA.
“What we did not convey to the people was the fact that a majority of the so-called scams were issues connected to policy framework and not personal corruption. This should have been projected properly. It is the policy decision that can be criticised and whether it was the case of 2G or CWG, the Congress took action in each of them,’’ he said.
As has been a refrain among some senior Congress leaders, Kamal Nath too conceded that the 2014 election was also lost on account of the huge money spent on the campaign by the BJP.
He said, “This time the corporates clearly favored the BJP. We did not realise that we needed to spend so much and did not pay that much attention to funding as the BJP did. This was an important factor.’’
Looking at future, the veteran politician said that there was no point of Congress leaders getting demoralised.
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“The Congress has bounced back into the national scene before like they did after the Emergency,” he recalled.
“It can be done again. But for this we have to start working from the block level. We have to open the channels of communication again and even younger leaders who have lost the election have to do this. We all have to reflect and change our attitude.’’